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.
According to the document, Murray said he'd been treating Jackson for insomnia for about six weeks with 50 milligrams of propofol every night via an intravenous drip. But he said he feared Jackson was forming an addiction to the anesthetic, which is normally used in hospitals only, and was attempting to wean his patient by lowering the dose to 25 milligrams and adding the sedatives lorazepam and midazolam.
That combination succeeded in helping Jackson sleep two days prior to his death, so the next day, Murray told detectives he cut off the propofol — and Jackson fell asleep with just the two sedatives.