Lethal Level: Dangerous Anesthesia Drug found in Jackson's System - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Homicide: Dangerous Anesthesia Drug found in Michael Jackson's System

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(CNN) -The Los Angeles coroner has concluded preliminarily that singer Michael Jackson died of an overdose of propofol, a powerful sedative he was given to help him sleep, according to court documents released Monday.

Los Angeles Chief Medical Examiner-Coroner Dr. Lakshmanan Sathyavagiswaran reached that preliminary conclusion after reviewing toxicology results carried out on Jackson's blood, according to a search warrant and affidavit unsealed in Houston, Texas.

The affidavit -- used to outline probable cause for search warrants on the offices of doctors who are thought to have treated Jackson -- disclosed many details of drugs given to Jackson by Dr. Conrad Murray, his personal physician, in the weeks before his death.

Jackson family lawyer Londell McMillan said the report "reaffirms the very sad reality that there was a tragic and gross violation of duty and care for Michael Jackson."

The publicist for Jackson's family said the "family looks forward to the day that justice can be served."

"The Jackson family has full confidence in the legal process, and commends the ongoing efforts of the L.A. county coroner, the L.A. district attorney and the L.A. Police Department," the statement said.

Ed Chernoff, Murray's attorney, took issue with some of the information included in the court documents.

"Much of what was in the search warrant affidavit is factual. However, unfortunately, much is police theory," Chernoff said, specifically referring to media reports that Jackson's death would be ruled a homicide by the Los Angeles County coroner.

The 32-page document said Murray told detectives that he had been treating Jackson for insomnia for six weeks, giving him 50 mg of propofol, the generic name for Diprivan, diluted with the anesthetic lidocaine every night via an intravenous drip.

Worried that Jackson might have been becoming addicted to the drug, the Houston cardiologist said, he tried to wean his high-profile patient from it, putting together combinations of other drugs that succeeded in helping Jackson sleep during the two nights before his death.

But on June 25, other drugs failed to do the job, as Murray recounted to detectives in an hour-by-hour account that was detailed by Detective Orlando Martinez of the Los Angeles Police Department:

-- About 1:30 a.m., Murray gave Jackson 10 mg of Valium.

-- About 2 a.m., he injected Jackson with 2 mg of the anti-anxiety drug Ativan.

-- About 3 a.m., Murray then administered 2 mg of the sedative Versed.

-- About 5 a.m., he administered another 2 mg of Ativan.

-- About 7:30 a.m., Murray gave Jackson yet another 2 mg of Versed while monitoring him with a device that measured the oxygen saturation of his blood.

-- About 10:40 a.m., "after repeated demands/requests from Jackson," Murray administered 25 mg of propofol, the document said.

"Jackson finally went to sleep and Murray stated that he remained monitoring him. After approximately 10 minutes, Murray stated he left Jackson's side to go to the restroom and relieve himself. Murray stated he was out of the room for about two minutes maximum. Upon his return, Murray noticed that Jackson was no longer breathing."

Efforts at CPR proved fruitless.

Chernoff dismissed this final section of the timeline.

"Dr. Murray simply never told investigators that he found Michael Jackson at 11 a.m. not breathing," Chernoff said. "He also never said that he waited a mere 10 minutes before leaving to make several phone calls. In fact, Dr. Murray never said that he left Michael Jackson's room to make phone calls at all."

Shortly after the documents were released, The Associated Press quoted a single law-enforcement official who said the Los Angeles County coroner "has ruled Michael Jackson's death a homicide."

The coroner's office offered CNN a crisp "no comment" on the report, and a Los Angeles police spokesman said the report did not come from the department. Police previously have said that investigators were exploring that conclusion.

"We will not comment on the 'anonymous' law-enforcement source that claims that Michael Jackson's death will be ruled a homicide, Chernoff said. "Most of the reports by 'anonymous' sources have been proven wrong. We will be happy to address the coroner's report when it is officially released."

According to the warrant and affidavit, Murray said he was not the first doctor to give Jackson the powerful anesthetic, which the singer called his "milk." The drug has a milky appearance.

The document also cited reports from staff at the University of California at Los Angeles Medical Center, where Jackson's body was taken, who said Murray "admitted" to having given Jackson flumazenil to counteract the Ativan.

The document listed another five doctors and a nurse practitioner who were said to have treated Jackson at one time or another.

"Detectives ... believe that the miscellaneous prescriptions, from multiple doctors ... could have contributed to his death," the document said.

It added that "it cannot be determined whether the cause of death is due to the actions of a single night and/or a single doctor, or the grossly negligent treatment of several doctors over an extended period of time."

The affidavit said a search of Jackson's home revealed "numerous bottles of medications" at Jackson's bedside that were prescribed by Murray and two other physicians -- Dr. Allan Metzger and Dr. Arnold Klein.

"According to the Physician's Desk Reference (PDR), most of these drugs have an indicated or off-label use in the treatment of insomnia," the affidavit said.

Metzger's lawyer told CNN last month that Metzger -- who treated Jackson in 2003 -- refused Jackson's request in April for a propofol prescription.

Klein -- a dermatologist who also was Jackson's longtime friend -- has insisted he never gave Jackson dangerous drugs.

Jackson visited Klein's Beverly Hills, California, medical office days before his June 25 death.

Murray took the job as Jackson's personal physician in May, as the pop star was preparing for a series of comeback concerts set to begin in July at London's O2 arena.

Murray told investigators that Jackson would not tell him what drugs other doctors had given him, but he did tell Murray the medicine given to him by Klein and Metzger was not working, the affidavit said.



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