ruled a homicide
Michael Jackson's death was a homicide caused primarily by the powerful anesthetic propofol and another sedative, the coroner announced Friday in a ruling increasing the likelihood of criminal charges against the pop star's doctor.
The Los Angeles County coroner's office named the cause of death as “acute propofol intoxication.” Lorazepam, a sedative sold under the brand name Ativan, also contributed. Other drugs in the pop star's system were the sedatives midazolam and diazepam, the painkiller lidocaine and the stimulant ephedrine.
The coroner did not release Jackson's full autopsy report, citing a security hold requested by Los Angeles authorities, and declined to comment further.
Jackson, 50, died June 25 at his rented L.A. mansion. His physician, Dr. Conrad Murray, told police he'd given Jackson propofol that morning after a series of sedatives failed to help Jackson sleep.
Murray has not been charged with any crime but is the target of what police term a manslaughter investigation. Multiple search warrants served at his home and businesses in Las Vegas and Houston sought evidence on how he procured the propofol. Jackson's interactions with at least six other doctors also are being scrutinized.
Murray's attorney, Edward Chernoff, said he was disappointed the full autopsy report wasn't released. Without it, he said, he can't seek an independent expert opinion on the significance of the drugs detected.
“Release the toxicology report, the whole thing. Sunlight is the best disinfectant,” Chernoff said. “This smells like gamesmanship.” Chernoff repeated his assertion that nothing Murray gave Jackson “should have” killed him. Associated Press
Actor-director Richard Attenborough, 86. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., 73. Actor Elliott Gould, 71. Director Joel Schumacher, 70. TV personality Robin Leach, 68. Actor G.W. Bailey, 65. Actress Rebecca DeMornay, 50. Actress Carla Gugino, 38.
This day in history Aug. 29
1957: The Senate gave final approval to a Civil Rights Act after S.C. Sen. Strom Thurmond (then a Democrat) ended a filibuster that had lasted 24 hours.
1958: Pop superstar Michael Jackson was born in Gary, Ind.
2005: Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast near Buras, La.; the resulting floods devastated the city of New Orleans. More than 1,800 people in the region died.