News is just breaking on this story, but L.A. County coroner’s officials earlier found lethal levels of the powerful anesthetic propofol after examining Michael Jackson’s body. Michael Jackson’s doctor, Conrad Murray, told detectives with the Los Angeles Police Department that he had been treating Jackson for insomnia for about six weeks. He had been giving Jackson 50 milligrams of propofol every night using an intravenous line, according to the court records.
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A large and ever growing crowd of media has gathered this morning outside the Las Vegas office and home of Dr. Conrad Murray. Multiple officers from the DEA and the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department have entered his offices and his home at approximately 9 a.m. (PT) – and few officers have come out. Dr. Murray appears to be cooperating with the officers.
Though final toxicology and autopsy reports are pending later this week, the case is ramping up against Dr. Conrad Murray, the personal doctor of Michael Jackson who gave the King of Pop a powerful drug on the day he died on June 25 at his rented Holmby Hills mansion in Los Angeles.
On Monday, The Associated Press reported that Dr. Murray, administered a dose of the powerful anesthetic Diprivan, the drug authorities believe killed the singer.
Dr. Murray, who has since closed his Las Vegas medical practice, has received numerous death threats and reportedly remains cloistered in his sprawling Red Rock Country Club estate in Las Vegas.
Found inside Jackson’s rented mansion upon his death was a bedroom outfitted with many oxygen tanks and an IV drip. Another of his bedrooms was left in shambles, with clothes and other items strewn about and handwritten notes on the walls. One read: “children are sweet and innocent.” In a security guard’s shack, 15 oxygen tanks were found.
TMZ reported that during an interview with police two days after Jackson’s death, Murray himself told Los Angeles Police Department detectives that he had given the intravenously administered drug to his client just hours before his passing. Citing unnamed multiple law enforcement sources, the site claims that Murray allegedly hooked Jackson up to an IV drip of the drug — typically used for sedation during medical procedures in doctor’s offices or hospitals — and apparently either wasn’t paying attention, fell asleep or left the room when the singer’s heart stopped beating.
TMZ also reported that there was no EKG machine or pulse oximeter found in Jackson’s home, though those machines are always used in a hospital setting to monitor the pulse of a patient being administered Propofol (also known as Diprivan).
Last week officials carted away evidence from the doctor’s Houston office and a nearby storage locker in connection with their manslaughter probe.
In the days after Jackson’s death, his nurse/nutritionist Cherilyn Lee also said Jackson was desperately seeking Diprivan in the weeks before his death, despite the dangers of the drug. Lee was also subpoenaed to hand over medical documents regarding Jackson, however she is not a suspect in Jackson’s death.
Meanwhile, the offices of dermatologist Dr. Arnold Klein — Jackson’s friend and the rumored biological father of Jackson’s two eldest children — was also asked to hand over medical records.
The investigation has been made more complex by the fact that Jackson often used aliases when procuring prescriptions.
Dr. Zeev Kain, who heads the anesthesiology department of the University of California, Irvine Medical Center, said he has never encountered a situation in which propofol was given in a home to help someone sleep, adding that such a situation would constitute malpractice.
Should the Jackson investigation officially turn into a manslaughter case — no charges have been filed to date — prosecutors would have to provide clear evidence that his doctor, or other health care providers, acted in a reckless or negligent manner, thereby causing the singer’s death.
Dr. Murray, who has already been identified in court papers as the subject of a manslaughter investigation, confessed he likes “being in the limelight, meeting all the celebrities,” and also has left a trail of legal and financial troubles amounting to a liability of about $450,000 during his 10 years in Las Vegas. Two other pending lawsuits seek additional judgments totaling more than $366,000.
Reportedly, Dr. Murray was charging $150,000 a month for being the personal physician concierge to Jackson.
Feverishly following up on leads, eight Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) vehicles arrived this morning looking for Michael Jackson medical records at the offices Armstrong Medical Clinic in Houston, one of the clinics used by Michael Jackson’s personal physician, Dr. Conrad Murray, who performed CPR on the pop star just before he died. Two LAPD detectives also arrived on scene along with uniformed members of the Houston Police Department and 10 members of the DEA’s Tactical Diversion Team. There were another dozen or so DEA agents on hand.
The law enforcement agents, armed with a search warrant, entered the property and began going through the property.
The LAPD asked the DEA for help in serving the warrant on the Armstrong Medical Clinic in Houston. The warrant is sealed.
Murray, who has a medical practice in Las Vegas, since closed, is also licensed to practice in California, and is one of the central figures in a widening dragnet of physicians and personnel at medical facilities, based on results being uncovered from Jackson’s autopsy.
With results from Michael Jackson’s second autopsy now in, the findings are no different from what the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office found, E! News reports. Both procedures revealed needle marks and traces of a potentially lethal amount of Propofol, an anesthetic administered via IV that leaves people in a largely comatose state, in the self-proclaimed King of Pop’s system.
The private autopsy was performed June 27, two days after Jackson died and the day following the coroner’s examination of the body.
Meanwhile, it has been learned that Jackson could have a secret fourth child according to reports. It has been alleged that Norwegian dancer Omer Bhatti is seeking a DNA test to see if he is in fact the son of the legendry King of Pop.
The Sun newspaper has reported that Jackson told friends that Bhatti, looking strikingly similar to Jackson, was born after a one night stand in 1984 and the 25 year old is now said to be seeking whether Jackson is indeed his biological father.
Katherine Jackson has formally filed a petition with the court to be appointed as administrator of her son Michael Jackson’s estate. She is petitioning under the Independent Administrations Estate Act.
Court papers surfaced Wednesday and were filed in the matter by both Katherine and Joe Jackson, but only Katherine is requesting to be placed in charge of Michael Jackson’s estate.
A hearing is set for August 3rd, to determine who will be executor of Jackson’s estate.
Sony Pictures is also in the midst of finalizing a deal to acquire rehearsal footage from Michael Jackson’s This Is It concert run, with hopes of releasing it in theaters just in time for Halloween, according to Variety magazine.
Sony is reportedly paying close to $60 million for the 80 hours of rehearsal footage shot at Staples Center in Los Angeles. The footage is currently owned by AEG Entertainment, who were promoting Jackson’s run of 50 shows at London’s O2 Arena.
Finally, Las Vegas is being mentioned as an option as opposition grows to having Jackson’s Neverland Ranch turned into a Graceland-like memorial. Bob Field, former Santa Ynez Valley Planning Advisory Committee chairman, is proposing that Neverland Ranch be dismantled and moved to Las Vegas.
Since Michael Jackson’s death on June 25, fans have flocked in droves to Jackson sites from Los Angeles to his Neverland Ranch in rural Santa Barbara County.
Now, Las Vegas can be added to the growing list. A memorial area has been set up outside the entertainer’s last Las Vegas residence at 2710 W. Palomino Lane. Flowers and cards are being accepted.
Jackson stayed at the Palomino residence during his 50th birthday last Aug. 29.
Meanwhile, as controversy swirls around the powerful surgical anesthetic sedative Diprivan found in the King of Pop’s rented mansion in Holmby Hills, Los Angeles city officials are preparing for massive crowds anticipated during this Tuesday’s public memorial for Michael Jackson at Staples Center, even though only 17,500 tickets are being offered to the public.
Anywhere from a quarter-million to 700,000 people are anticipated to pack their bags and soon head to the arena.
The ceremony will not be shown on Staples’ giant outdoor TV screen and there will be no funeral procession through the city or outside of Staple Center.
Staples Center is not selling the tickets, rather offering the memorial tickets through an Internet lottery. Eleven thousand tickets are for the arena and 6,500 for the adjacent Nokia Theatre.
People who want tickets must register on the Web at www.staplescenter.com After 6 p.m. Saturday, 8,750 names will be randomly selected to receive two tickets each. Notifications will go out on Sunday
Before he died, Michael Jackson was on the down and out, broke to the tune of approximately $50 million- and growing.
Now that he’s gone, sales for any of his memorabilia are skyrocketing, with his children and estate executor more than likely well taken care of for their lifetimes.
On Friday, Julien’s Auction sold photos of Jackson, autographed albums and other memorabilia for a hefty sum at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas.
Jackson’s lot was expected to gross $10,000 to $30,000. It raked in $205,000.
“He’s back on top. He’s shining with the stars in heaven,” said Warwick Stone, who bought a piece of Jackson.
A Jackson 5 album signed by the band garnered $27,000. Vintage photos: $2,200. A Victory Tour costume shirt of Michael’s: $42,000.
Stone finds it sad but true that it takes dying to put Jackson’s value “back on the top.”
Yesterday, the Los Angeles County coroner finished their three-hour autopsy of Michael Jackson and found no signs of trauma or foul play leading to his death on Thursday. Spokesman Craig Harvey said a cause of death might not be known for four to six weeks, pending results from toxicology, pulmonary and neuropathology tests.
With the wait anticipated, that’s especially why investigatars want to find and question a Las Vegas physician who supposedly has been treating Jackson for the past three years and was at Jackson’s mansion when the iconic signer stopped breathing, desperately trying CPR to revive.
The doctor at the heart of the investigation is Conrad F. Murray, a cardiologist with offices in Las Vegas and Houston.
Murray was hired by AEG Live to accompany the pop star to London for his “This is It” tour of 50 concerts planned in London, said AEG Live President and Chief Executive Randy Phillips.
“As a company, we would have preferred not having a physician on staff full-time because it would have been cheaper without the hotels and travel, but Michael was insistent that he be hired,” Phillips told The Associated Press. “Michael said he had a rapport with him.”
“We do not consider him to be uncooperative at this time,” said police Los Angeles Deputy Chief Charlie Beck, noting that detectives spoke with the doctor after Jackson’s death. “We think that he will assist us in coming to the truth of the facts in this case.”
Beck, however, declined to answer questions about how long the doctor had been with Jackson before paramedics were summoned, or if any drugs had been administered to the singer.
Phillips said AEG Live advanced Jackson money to pay for Murray’s services as part of the production costs. Phillips said he asked Jackson why he wanted Murray with him full-time.
“He just said, `Look, this whole business revolves around me. I’m a machine and we have to keep the machine well-oiled,’ and you don’t argue with the King of Pop,” Phillips said.
Phillips attended Jackson’s rehearsal at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California on Wednesday night, when the entertainer was on stage for about three hours before leaving at 12:30 a.m.
“He was dancing as well or better than the 20-year-old dancers we surrounded him with,” the promoter said. “He was riveting. I thought we were home free. I thought this was going to be the greatest live show ever produced. He looked great.”
“This wasn’t as strenuous as a tour. There was no travel,” Phillips said. “He and the kids were going to be living in this beautiful home outside London and shows were spread out over six months. For him, it seemed like the perfect way to come back.”
Phillips added AEG Live held multiple insurance policies covering cancellation of the shows.
“We had pretty good coverage, but a lot of it is going to depend on the toxicology results,” he said. “We need to know what the cause of death was.”
Murray has spent a decade living and practicing in Las Vegas. Though he has not been subject of disciplinary action by the Nevada medical or pharmarcy boards, the same can’t be said for his legal and financial health.
Murray, who currently lives in a 5,268-square foot home with four bedrooms and a pool near the Red Rock Country Club in Summerlin, opened in 2000 his Global Cardiovascular Associates medical practice on East Flamingo Road near Eastern Avenue. Two years later his legal problems started.
In February 2002, the Clark County district attorney’s office filed a lien against Murray because of unpaid child support owed to Nenita Malibiran in California. That case followed him throughout the decade.
In 2006 he was hit with another lien for nearly $3,100 in unpaid child support, and as recently as June 10, the district attorney’s office filed to collect $10,893 in back child support owed to Malibiran in Santa Clara County in California, according to county records.
Murray had trouble paying other personal debts, as well.
Captial One Bank sued Murray in October and won a default judgement for $960 plus $408 in interest and legal fees. Then, in March, HICA Education Loan Corp. won a $71,332 civil judgement against Murray, who failed to repay his student loans from his medical school days 20 years ago at Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tenn., according to court records.
Murray and his company have also faced a litany of lawsuits in the past three years for unpaid bills and business obligations.
Lawsuits from Citicorp Vendor Finance and Popular Leasing U.S.A. ended with judgements against Murray totaling $363,722, and two pending lawsuits from Digirad Imaging Solutions and Siemens Financial Services are seeking judgements totaling $366,541.
Murray has been registered to vote in Clark County since 2004 but does not have a Nevada driver’s license, according to the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles.
On Friday, his office in Las Vegas was locked and dark with a closed sign hanging from the door. Supposedly, according to TMZ.com, Murray notified employees in a note that he was leaving “temporarily,” adding “in my absence, I will continue to manage the practice, and be involved as much as possible but from a distance.”
Michael Jackson’s death has caused Las Vegas impressionists and comedians to scurry and quickly alter their acts, turning satirical scenes into sincere tributes.
Mirage headliner Terry Fator said he would cut a segment where he dresses up as Jackson and asks a cowboy puppet named Walter for country music lessons, where the cowboy is a little wary of the superstar.
Golden Nugget headliner Gordie Brown is changing his Jackson impression of the “Billie Jean” song that has a parody of jokes about the singer having body parts fall off after too much plastic surgery.
“American Superstars,” which features Frederick Henry performing at the Stratosphere, is looking for a way to pay a serious tribute to Jackson.
Carrot Top’s publicist, Steve Flynn, said the Luxor comedian’s crew has already started editing the show-closing rock sequence which features Jackson’s music. The comedian has removed all jokes that made fun of Jackson, but kept in a moment where he strikes a Jackson pose in front of an industrial fan, repositioning it as a tribute.