Dr. Conrad Murray, the doctor being investigated in Michael Jackson’s death, bought a powerful anesthetic from a Las Vegas pharmacy before giving it to the singer shortly before he died June 25, two media organizations reported Thursday, citing unnamed sources.
The Associated Press quoted an unnamed law-enforcement official, and the Los Angeles Times on its Web site cited “three people familiar with the investigation.”
According to the Associated Press, Murray bought the anesthetic propofol from Applied Pharmacy Services on May 12. He is believed to have administered doses from that purchase to Jackson in the hours before his death.
The Los Angeles Times said that two days after the pop star’s death, Murray told police detectives that he did obtain and administer the medication and that he gave it to Jackson in the early hours of June 25, because Jackson was exhausted from a concert rehearsal.
Drug Enforcement Administration agents and police served a search warrant on the pharmacy on Tuesday and took evidence showing Murray legally bought the propofol from the store, according to the Associated Press’s unnamed law-enforcement official. The warrant lists two lot numbers for the drug, made by two different manufacturers, and both were found in Jackson’s rented Beverly Hills mansion after his death, the official said.
While investigators believe propofol was the principle factor in Jackson’s death, they have not ruled out the possibility that other medications played a role. Murray’s attorney, Edward Chernoff, declined repeated requests for an interview. He has said Murray never gave Jackson anything that “should have” killed him and referred new queries to a published report in which he criticized investigators for rushing to condemn Murray.
”From the beginning, they leaked that propofol killed him,” Chernoff told the Los Angeles Times. “It has appeared the investigation was designed to support a conclusion they already made with regard to Dr. Murray.” Tuesday’s warrant filed in Clark County District Court shows detectives hoped to find records including credit card receipts, shipping orders or mailing lists showing that Murray or his employees bought prescription medications “including but not limited to” propofol on May 12. A woman who answered the phone at Applied Pharmacy Services hung up without commenting.
After a 90-minute search, investigators seized only paperwork from the pharmacy, the warrant shows. No details were provided.
The search came weeks after police and DEA agents served warrants and removed records and items from Murray’s Las Vegas home and medical office. And on July 22, authorities seized computer hard drives, medical equipment invoices, phone records and other items from Murray’s Houston clinic and a rented storage unit. The Los Angeles County coroner’s office said it has completed its work determining Jackson’s cause of death.
But officials said the results — including an analysis of medications found in Jackson’s system — won’t be made public until the police investigation is complete.