Coroners declare Michael Jackson's death a homicide, revealing the singer had a lethal cocktail of six different drugs in his body when he died.
Jackson's death ruled as homicide
Coroners declared that Michael Jackson's death was a homicide today, revealing the singer had a lethal cocktail of six different drugs in his body when he died. Ending several weeks of feverish speculation following Jackson's sudden death in Los Angeles on June 25, the county coroner's office issued a brief statement ruling that the superstar's death was unlawful. The statement said that while "acute intoxication" from the powerful anaesthetic Propofol was the primary cause of death, Jackson, 50, had also suffered from the effects of other drugs in his system. As well as Propofol, powerful drugs including lorazepam, midazolam, diazepam, lidocaine and ephedrine were found in Jackson's body. The coroner's statement said police investigators and public prosecutors had ordered that the full toxicology report concerning Jackson be withheld until further notice. The announcement will fuel speculation that authorities are likely to charge Jackson's personal physician Conrad Murray in connection with the death. Mr Murray was the last person to see Jackson alive. According to court documents unsealed in Houston, Texas, on Monday, multiple drugs were administered to Jackson by Mr Murray in the hours before his death at his Los Angeles mansion two months ago. The chief medical examiner-coroner Lakshmanan Sathyavagiswaran "reviewed the preliminary toxicology results and his preliminary assessment of Jackson's cause of death was due to lethal levels of Propofol." Mr Murray administered Propofol and other drugs to Jackson - at the star's insistence - to treat his insomnia, but was worried Jackson had developed an addiction and "tried to wean Jackson off of the drug," the affidavit said. Propofol is a powerful anesthetic used to induce unconsciousness in patients undergoing major surgery in hospital. Medical professionals say it should never be used by private individuals at home. The affidavit unsealed on Monday revealed that Mr Murray confessed to investigators two days after the star died that he had been giving Jackson 50 milligrams of Propofol nightly during the six weeks prior to the event. As part of their investigation, police and federal agents have already raided Mr Murray's offices in Las Vegas, Nevada and Houston, Texas, as well as a Las Vegas pharmacy that provided the drugs. Mr Murray told investigators he was not the first doctor to administer Propofol to the King of Pop, who referred to the drug as his "milk," LAPD detective Orlando Martinez wrote in the affidavit, citing the cardiologist. Medical experts said the cocktail of drugs apparently given to Jackson was extremely dangerous and police would need to determine whether administering it was tantamount to medical negligence. "If all of these drugs... are also shown, this would be a classical case of acute combined drug toxicity," the forensic pathologist Cyril Wecht said. Jackson is to be buried at a cemetery in Glendale, California on September 3, his family announced last week. They had originally planned to bury him on August 29 - the day he would have turned 51. * AFP