Investigators maintain focus on Jackson doc
LAS VEGAS -- Investigators in the Michael Jackson case continue to sharpen their focus on the personal physician who was with him when he died.
Dr. Conrad Murray has emerged as the central figure in the ongoing probe into Jackson's June 25 death. And on Tuesday, local police and federal drug agents searched a Las Vegas pharmacy and uncovered evidence showing Murray legally purchased a potent anesthetic from the business, according to a law enforcement official who requested anonymity because the probe is ongoing.
Murray told investigators he administered the anesthetic propofol and multiple sedatives to Jackson in his rented Beverly Hills mansion in the hours before he died, the official told The Associated Press. Propofol is normally used to render patients unconscious for medical procedures and only is supposed to be administered by anesthesia professionals in medical settings.
While it is extremely strong, propofol is not a controlled substance so investigators are looking for evidence to show Murray may have been remiss in administering it in a home. A central issue for detectives on the case is what drugs were in Jackson's system when he died and how those medications were obtained.
Through a spokeswoman Tuesday, Murray's attorney Edward Chernoff said he had no immediate comment.
Murray has talked to detectives but has not spoken publicly since Jackson died. Chernoff has said Murray gave Jackson nothing that "should have" killed him and specifically said the physician did not give Jackson the narcotic painkillers Demerol or OxyContin.
The cause of death for Jackson and details about what was in his system will be revealed in the final autopsy report prepared by the Los Angeles County coroner's office.
The office announced Monday that it has completed its work but won't release findings while the police investigation is ongoing.
Weeks ago, authorities served search warrants at Murray's Las Vegas home and his businesses in Las Vegas and Houston, where they seized computer hard drives, medical equipment invoices, phone records and other items. Officials also sought evidence pertaining to the purchase of propofol in those warrants.
Court documents also show investigators are looking into Jackson's interactions with at least six other doctors.
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)