Coroners said that Jackson, 50, seen here in 2009, had suffered from the effects of other drugs in his system. — PHOTO: REUTERS
LOS ANGELES – MICHAEL Jackson’s death was declared a homicide by Los Angeles coroners on Friday as they revealed the singer had a lethal cocktail of six different drugs in his body when he died.
Ending several weeks of feverish speculation following Jackson’s sudden death in Los Angeles on June 25, the county coroner’s office issued a brief statement ruling that the superstar’s death was unlawful.
The statement said that while ‘acute intoxication’ from the powerful anesthetic propofol was the primary cause of death, Jackson, 50, had also suffered from the effects of other drugs in his system. As well as propofol, powerful drugs including lorazepam, midazolam, diazepam, lidocaine and ephedrine were found in Jackson’s body.
The coroner’s statement said police investigators and public prosecutors had ordered that the full toxicology report concerning Jackson be withheld until further notice.
Jackson’s family welcomed the findings. ‘The Jackson family again wishes to commend the actions of the coroner, the LAPD and other law enforcement agencies, and looks forward to the day that justice can be served,’ the family said in a statement.
The coroner’s announcement will fuel speculation that authorities are likely to charge Jackson’s personal physician Conrad Murray in connection with the death. Cardiologist Murray was the last person to see Jackson alive.
According to court documents unsealed in Houston, Texas, on Monday, multiple drugs were administered to Jackson by Murray in the hours before his death at his Los Angeles mansion two months ago.
Chief Medical Examiner-Coroner Lakshmanan Sathyavagiswaran ‘reviewed the preliminary toxicology results and his preliminary assessment of Jackson’s cause of death was due to lethal levels of propofol.’
Murray administered propofol and other drugs to Jackson – at the star’s insistence – to treat his insomnia, but was worried Jackson had developed an addiction and ‘tried to wean Jackson off of the drug,’ the affidavit said.
Propofol is a powerful anesthetic used to induce unconsciousness in patients undergoing major surgery in hospital. Medical professionals say it should never be used by private individuals at home.
The affidavit unsealed on Monday revealed that Murray confessed to investigators two days after the star died that he had been giving Jackson 50 milligrams of propofol nightly during the six weeks prior to the event. — AFP