More records seized from Jackson’s personal physician
Detectives investigating Michael Jackson’s death continued to target the pop star’s personal physician Tuesday, searching the doctor’s Las Vegas office for medical records, medications and prescriptions, and seizing cellphones and a computer hard drive from his home.
Investigators are hoping the cellphones, along with phone records obtained in a previous search warrant, will provide information about the calls Dr. Conrad Murray placed around the time of Jackson’s death June 25, according to sources close to the investigation.
Detectives have questions about how long it took before a 911 call was placed, sources said. Murray has acknowledged through his attorney that nearly half an hour passed before paramedics arrived because he had difficulty contacting a security guard, couldn’t find a land-line phone and did not know the address of Jackson’s rented Holmby Hills mansion.
A search warrant approved Friday by Nevada District Court Judge Timothy C. Williams indicates that investigators were concerned that Murray had not turned over all of Jackson’s medical records.
One week after Jackson’s death, at the request of investigators, Murray sent them files related to his treatment of the singer in Las Vegas, his attorney said. But the warrants executed Tuesday made a broader demand: all records pertaining to Jackson, whether in his name or 19 potential aliases he used to conceal his identity.
Among the items sought were prescriptions “administered, prescribed, obtained, transferred, sold, distributed, and/or concealed” to Jackson, or pseudonyms that included Omar Arnold, Paul Farance, Bryan Singleton, Jack London, Michael Amir Williams Muhammad, Jimmy Nicholas, Blanca Nicholas, Roselyn Muhammad, Faheem Muhammad, Frank Tyson, Fernand Diaz, Peter Madonie, Josephine Baker and Kai Chase, according to the warrant. It also listed Prince Jackson, the singer’s 12-year-old son, as one of the possible aliases.
Federal and state laws designed to curb prescription drug abuse make it illegal to prescribe drugs using fake names.
The warrant also covered business and billing records, lab tests, consultation reports and all computer or electronic records related to Jackson or the aliases.
The searches marked the second series of raids in less than a week that focused on Murray, who has been identified in court records as the target of a manslaughter investigation. Last week, authorities inspected Murray’s Houston storage unit and medical office, where the cardiologist maintained a second practice.
Sources familiar with the investigation have said that detectives are trying to determine whether Murray administered propofol, a powerful anesthetic, that Jackson may have requested as a sleep aid. One source told The Times that Murray was in Jackson’s bedroom when the star received a dose of the drug the morning of his death. Toxicology results that could indicate the cause of Jackson’s death are expected to be released soon, law enforcement sources have said.
As dozens of reporters camped outside Murray’s office in sweltering, 111-degree heat, curious bypassers stopped to snap cellphone pictures of the media circus.
Officers from the Drug Enforcement Administration, Las Vegas Metro Police Department and Los Angeles Police Department spent nearly eight hours inside Global Cardiovascular Associates, where two employees were present for the search.
Murray was at home and “fully cooperative” during a second, three-hour search of his two-story, million-dollar house in the tony Red Rock Country Club neighborhood of Las Vegas, according to local police Capt. Brett Zimmerman.
About 4:50 p.m., half a dozen or so law enforcement officials poured out of the building, with cameramen trailing behind. Authorities carried out at least two cardboard boxes, and one man -- wearing what resembled a ski mask because he typically works undercover -- appeared to carry a file case.
Lt. Greg Strenk of the LAPD’s Robbery-Homicide Division cautioned reporters not to read too much into the number of boxes carried out.
“Don’t count all the boxes and think it’s a gold mine,” Strenk said. He declined to speak further about the ongoing investigation. Murray’s attorney declined to comment.
Times staff writer Kimi Yoshino contributed to this report.