Police raid Vegas home of Jackson doctor

By AFP

June 18, 2010 Updated Jul 29, 2009 at 11:11 AM EST

Police and federal agents has swooped down on the Las Vegas home of Michael Jackson's doctor, as speculation mounted he could face possible manslaughter charges in the singer's death.

Drug Enforcement Administration and Los Angeles Police Department officers on Tuesday seized mobile phones and a computer after combing through doctor Conrad Murray's gated resort home and downtown Las Vegas office.

A statement released by Murray's legal team said officers had executed two search warrants seeking Jackson's medical records.

"The search warrant authorized investigators to look for medical records relating to Michael Jackson and all of his reported aliases," the statement said, adding that Murray was present during the search and assisted officers.

The move followed a similar raid last week on Murray's practice in Houston, Texas, where a warrant revealed for the first time that agents were seeking evidence of manslaughter in connection with the doctor.

News reports early Wednesday said a coroner's report into the cause of Jackson's death was to be made public next week.

Entertainment website TMZ.com reported that while Murray is at the center of the probe, investigators are looking at several other doctors who might have helped secure medication for Jackson, amid reports that the entertainer used more than two dozen aliases to obtain the drugs.

CNN reported on Monday that Murray, 51, gave Jackson a lethal dose of a potent anesthetic propofol -- whose trade name is Diprivan -- on the night before his sudden death on June 25 aged 50 at the pop icon's rented chateau-like home in Los Angeles.

Propofol is used in hospitals to induce unconsciousness in patients ahead of major surgery. Experts say the drug should only be administered by a trained anesthesiologist under strict monitoring conditions.

Murray's lawyers, who have repeatedly insisted he is innocent of wrongdoing, issued a statement have urged calm amid the flurry of reports suggesting the physician faced a criminal prosecution.

Attorney Ed Chernoff said firm conclusions could only be drawn once the results of toxicology tests from Jackson's autopsy were known.

"Everyone needs to take a breath and wait for these long delayed toxicology results," he said on Monday. "Things tend to shake out when all the facts are made known, and I'm sure that will happen here as well."

TMZ.com meanwhile said Murray had told police in an interview on June 27 he gave Jackson propofol via an intravenous drip.

The website reported police believe Murray may have fallen asleep while the drug was being administered, and awoke to find the singer already dead.

The Los Angeles Coroner's office has said results of tests carried out on Jackson's body will be revealed by the end of the week.

Pathologists also discovered a deadly cocktail of prescription drugs in Jackson's emaciated body, including the powerful painkillers OxyContin and Demerol, according to ABC News.

In the aftermath of Jackson's death, friends of the singer's family said the clan had "unanswered questions" regarding Murray's role, citing his failure to call paramedics immediately after discovering the star.

Murray was also criticized for attempting to give CPR to Jackson while he lay on a bed, even though established medical practice calls for the patient to be placed on a hard surface.

"(Murray) owes it to the family and to the public to say, 'These were the last hours of Michael's life and here's what happened.' That's a reasonable expectation," family friend and civil rights activist Jesse Jackson said.

Jackson's death came as he prepared to make a grueling 50-date series of comeback concerts in London. Murray had been reportedly hired by Jackson on a monthly salary of 150,000 dollars to oversee his health ahead of the comeback.




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