L.A. Coroner Rules Michael Jackson’s Death a Homicide

Michael Jackson, announcing his final London concerts, earlier this year (Courtesy: SAWF News)

Michael Jackson, announcing his final London concerts, earlier this year (Courtesy: SAWF News)

No surprise, the way in which the investigation was going.

The Los Angeles County coroner has ruled Michael Jackson’s death a homicide and a combination of drugs was the cause, a law enforcement official told The Associated Press, a finding that makes it more likely criminal charges will be filed against the doctor who was with the pop star when he died.

Forensic tests found the powerful anesthetic propofol acted together with at least two sedatives to cause Jackson’s death June 25 in his rented Los Angeles mansion, according to the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the findings have not been publicly released.

Dr. Conrad Murray, a Las Vegas cardiologist who became Jackson’s personal physician weeks before his death, is the target of a manslaughter investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department. A designation of homicide means that Jackson died at the hands of another, but does not necessarily mean a crime was committed.

A search warrant affidavit unsealed Monday in Houston includes a detailed account of what Murray told investigators.

Murray felt that Jackson was forming an addiction to propofol while treating him for insomnia. He tried using a combination of lorazepam and midazolam, the former administered at 2:00 a.m. and the latter at 3:00 a.m. to help Jackson sleep. He repeated the regimen at 5:00 a.m. and 7:30 a.m., but it did not work.

So Murray finally gave in to Michael’s repeated demands for his “milk.”

[…] He administered 25 milligrams of the white-colored liquid, — a relatively small dose — and finally, Jackson fell asleep.

Murray remained with the sedated Jackson for about 10 minutes, then left for the bathroom. No more than two minutes later, he returned — and found Jackson had stopped breathing.

“There’s no surprise there” that death could result from such a combination, said Dr. David Zvara, anesthesia chairman at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

“All those drugs act in synergy with each other,” Zvara said. Adding propofol on top of all the other sedatives “tipped the balance.”

What Murray should have done was to tell–nay, insist–that Michael wait until all of the drugs were out of his system for his own safety. Because of his previous drug courses, Michael had probably formed an intolerance. Instead, Murray ended up killing his patient with a relatively mild dose of propofol. Not deliberately, of course, earning a possible manslaughter charge. But it ends up looking like incompetence to the nth degree, because all of the previous dosages weren’t entered into Murray’s calculation when he administered the drug.

Another note:

When he died, Jackson was skinny but not overly emaciated, and his body had bed sores, the official said. The singer is believed to have developed bed sores in the months following his 2005 acquittal of child molestation charges, when he went into seclusion and spent long stretches in bed.

More later.

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~ by blksista on August 24, 2009.

One Response to “L.A. Coroner Rules Michael Jackson’s Death a Homicide”

  1. We have to give the man his due: Michael Jackson was – beyond a shadow of a doubt – a great artist whose recorded legacy will endure for decades, maybe even a century or more. But an examination of his life is riddled with questions of all that might have been; all that should have been. It is more than likely that this was a severely mentally ill human being who never sought the treatment he so desperately needed; surrounded by fawning sycophants who enabled his sickness by constantly reassuring him that he could do no wrong. As John Lennon once said in the same context about Elvis Presley, another victim of the excesses of fame: “It’s always the courtiers that kill the king”.

    The sad, inescapable truth is that for reasons we will probably never be able to fully understand, his talent and his career were ultimately wasted. Like Charlie Parker, Montgomery Clift, Judy Garland and Lenny Bruce before him, his brilliance as an artist would be overshadowed by severe, psychological torment and an unexplainable desire for self-destruction. Therein lies the real, unspeakable tragedy of Michael Jackson.


    Tom Degan
    Goshen, NY


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