Coroner Declares Michael Jackson's Death a Homicide

The Los Angeles County coroner's office has issued a press release saying Michael Jackson's death was a homicide.

The "manner of death has been ruled homicide. Cause of death was established as acute propofol intoxication. Other conditions contributing to death: benzodiazepine. The drugs propofol and Lorazepam were found to be the primary drugs responsible for Mr. Jackson’s death. Other drugs detected were midazolam, diazepam, lidocaine, and ephedrine. The final coroner’s report includes a complete toxicology report will that remain on security hold at the request of the Los Angeles police department and the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office"

The attorney for Conrad Murray, Jackson's physician who was with him when he died, is calling on the LAPD to release the full autopsy report, not just a summary. [More...]

The coroner's findings do not necessarily mean charges will be filed.

Sources familiar with the multiagency investigation have stressed that a manslaughter prosecution is not inevitable, given Jackson’s history of drug use, health problems and other challenges in the case.

...Homicide refers to a death at the hand of another person, but does not necessarily translate to criminal charges. In court papers, the Los Angeles Police Department has identified Dr. Conrad Murray, Jackson's personal physician at the time of his death, as the target of a manslaughter investigation.

Dr. Murray has been cooperating with police. According to search warrant affidavits in Houston, where Dr. Murray lives,

Murray said he resisted -- fearful that the pop star had developed a dangerous addiction to propofol. Instead, Murray administered the sedatives Valium, lorazepam and midazolam -- five times over six hours. But none put Jackson to sleep and he continued to demand his "milk," the word the doctor said the pop star used for propofol.

According to Dr. Murray, he finally acceded to Jackson's request and administered the propofol at 10:40 a.m.

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    Time lapse (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 04:12:51 PM EST
    I think Murray's problem isn't going to be the drugs so much as it is the time gap, something like 40 minutes, I believe, between his discovery that Jackson wasn't breathing and the call to 911.

    A prosecutor could make something of that in terms of consciousness of guilt, but at the very least it's pretty hard to avoid negligence in that delay.

    He can try to explain away (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by Fabian on Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 04:41:08 PM EST
    almost anything but that.

    I was giving my second grader the fire safety lecture that I got when I went through hospital orientation.  If you see a fire the first thing you do is pull the fire alarm - even if there's a fire extinguisher right in front of you.  Alarm first - period.  First you call for help, only after that do you respond to the emergency.  Everyone was taught that, from the doctors to the cafeteria workers.


    Not another three ring media circus trial! (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by mmc9431 on Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 05:33:09 PM EST
    Yes justice should be served, but I'm not looking forward to 3 months of idle chatter regarding another celebrity trial. The news media is poor as it is. This will give them a field say. Pertinent news will be buried in the 30 second wrap up at the end.

    The more I learn (none / 0) (#2)
    by Fabian on Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 04:14:35 PM EST
    the queasier I get.

    From our good friend wikipedia

    Propofol is contraindicated by all respiratory depressants, including benzodiazepines such as lorazepam and midazolam.


    I don't know a lot about (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by nycstray on Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 04:40:47 PM EST
    what he was given, but it seemed kinda obvious it could be a problem . . . . when they went over the timeline the other night, WTF?! was what went through my mind.

    Whiskey Tango Foxtrot (none / 0) (#7)
    by Fabian on Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 04:47:20 PM EST
    is a constant refrain every time I read about it.  The story never gets more understandable or more rational.

    queasy yes (none / 0) (#3)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 04:26:57 PM EST
    but its going to make a great movie

    No thank you! n/t (none / 0) (#4)
    by Fabian on Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 04:30:45 PM EST
    I dunno. I really liked MJ but it seems to me he (none / 0) (#8)
    by Angel on Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 04:49:01 PM EST
    did some doctor shopping.  Before anyone starts screaming, I'm not condoning what the doctor did - he failed in his oath to his profession if he was giving drugs that were intended for a hospital setting, etc.  But these wealthy celebrities will work hard to get what they want, and I think MJ didn't want to be denied his drugs. Who is ultimately responsible?  I'm not sure....

    MJ is dead. (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by Fabian on Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 04:58:10 PM EST
    So he's already paid the price if he was responsible in any way.  We can only deal with the living.

    I really don't know if we can prevent anyone with that much money from buying whatever services they want.  If they want a personal physician to give orders to, instead of taking advice from, there's no way for us to stop them.  


    At $150k per month! (none / 0) (#12)
    by Fabian on Sat Aug 29, 2009 at 11:13:36 AM EST
    It's hard not to be envious of that level of compensation.  It immediately brings to mind the punchline "We've established what you are, now we negotiate the price.".

    Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. (none / 0) (#11)
    by oculus on Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 06:14:17 PM EST
    Announces opening of an investigation at request of LAPD. San Francisco Chronical