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'Lethal levels' of anesthetic propofol killed Michael Jackson


Michael Jackson died of "lethal levels" of the powerful anesthetic propofol, according to a search warrant affidavit unsealed today in Houston.

The court documents quote the L.A. County coroner's office as reaching that conclusion after an autopsy of the pop star.

The documents address one of the major unanswered questions surrounding Jackson's death. But they also raise new questions about how Jackson was treated, particularly in the hours before his death.

Conrad Murray, Jackson's personal doctor, told detectives with the Los Angeles Police Department that he had been treating Jackson for insomnia for about six weeks. He had been giving Jackson 50 milligrams of propofol every night using an intravenous line, according to the court records.

But Murray told detectives that he feared Jackson was forming an addiction and began trying to wean the pop star off the drugs. He lowered the dosage to 25 milligrams and mixed it with two other sedatives, lorazepam and midazolam. On June 23, two days before Jackson's death, he administered those two medications and withheld the propofol.

On the morning Jackson died, Murray tried to induce sleep without using propofol, according to the affidavit. He said he gave Jackson valium at 1:30 a.m. When that didn't work, he said, he injected lorazepam intravenously at 2 a.m. At 3 a.m., when Jackson was still awake, Murray administered midazolam.

Over the next few hours, Murray said he gave Jackson various drugs. Then at 10:40 a.m., Murray administered 25 milligrams of propofol after Jackson repeatedly demanded the drug, according to the court records.

Although Murray acknowledged to police that he administered propofol, authorities said they could find no evidence that he had purchased, ordered or obtained the medication under his medical license or Drug Enforcement Administration tracking number. However, police detectives saw about eight bottles of propofol in the house along with other vials and pills that had been prescribed to Jackson by Dr. Murray, Dr. Arnold Klein and Dr. Allan Metzger.

Other drugs that were confiscated in the search included valium, tamsulosin, lorazepam, temazepam, clonazepam, trazodone and tizanidine. They also found propofol in Murray’s medical bag. Murray told detectives that he was not the first doctor to administer the powerful anesthetic to Jackson.

At least two unidentified doctors gave Jackson propofol in Germany. Between March and April 2009, Murray said he called Las Vegas doctor David Adams at Jackson’s request to arrange for Adams to administer propofol. Murray said he was present at a cosmetologist’s office, where Adams used propofol to sedate Jackson. Since he began treating Jackson, Murray said he repeatedly asked the pop star what other physicians were treating Jackson and what drugs they were prescribing. But Jackson declined to provide the information, Murray told authorities.

Murray said he noticed injection marks on Jackson’s hands and feet. When he asked Jackson about them, the pop star told him he had been given a “cocktail” to help him. In addition to Murray, authorities subpoenaed medical records from Dr. Arnold Klein, Dr. Allan Metzger and Dr. David Adams, the affidavit states. They also asked for medical records from Dr. David Slavitt, who conducted the independent medical examination of Jackson for Anschutz Entertainment Group, Dr. Randy Rosen and nurse practitioner Cherilyn Lee. They also subpoenaed records from Dr. Mark Tadrissi, who stored medical records with Adams.

Jackson’s doctor told authorities he left Jackson’s bedside for no more than two minutes before returning to find the pop star not breathing. Jackson reportedly fell asleep at 10:40 a.m.
Murray said after monitoring Jackson for 10 minutes, he left to use the restroom. When he returned and saw Jackson wasn’t breathing at 11 a.m. He immediately began attempting to revive Jackson, administering CPR as well as a drug to reverse the effects of the sedative. But police are questioning that account. Cellphone records for the morning of June 25 show Murray made three separate phone calls for approximately 47 minutes beginning at 11:18 a.m.
He called Jackson’s personal assistant to request that they send security upstairs. After a few minutes without a response, Murray told authorities he ran downstairs to the kitchen. He asked the chef to send Jackson’s eldest son, Prince Jackson, upstairs. Murray said he continued CPR and waited for the arrival of paramedics.

Murray has already acknowledged obtaining and administering propofol to Jackson the morning that the pop star died. In an interview with police, Murray told them that he had left Jackson alone under the influence of the medication to make telephone calls to his Houston office and family members.

When he returned, he discovered Jackson was not breathing. He performed CPR, and one of Jackson’s staff members called 911. The 50-year-old pop star was rushed to UCLA Medical Center, where he was later declared dead. Much of the investigation has focused on propofol -- a drug typically administered by anesthesiologists during surgery -- and whether Murray’s decision to give it to Jackson as a sleep aid outside a hospital setting reaches a level of negligence required for an involuntary manslaughter charge.

-- Kimi Yoshino and Andrew Blankstein

Photo: Conrad Murray. Credit AFP / Getty Images

Comments () | Archives (213)

People with money and fame often get worse medical care than the poorest in society. They can use their money and power to find unethical doctors willing to give them what they want, even if it harms them. Such doctors should be prosecuted when possible.

It's very easy to stand outside a situation and pronounce judgements on behavior like addiction. Very easy, but ultimately not satisfying. He had been described early on as fragile, soulful, shy, and of course, talented beyond measure. The media glare and distortion coupled with a scarily difficult upbringing and unprecedented fame: try to imagine being dealt the same hand.

Michael Jackson probably became addicted to painkillers--even refers to this in his song "Morphine"--because he WAS in pain: physical, emotional, etc. I don't see how anyone could not find the public unraveling of this prodigiously gifted artist extremely sad.

This doctor Murray needs to be behind bars. A message needs to be sent to doctors that they need to have ethics and follow the rules no matter how big the celebrity is or the money offered. Our health care system is so messed up today because of all the greedy doctors and medical professionals in this country. What happened to Michael Jackson happens to many other Americans every day when the health care industry(completely motivated by profit) pushes unnecessary and dangerous drugs on the public ..

Medical doctors take an oath to "DO NO HARM!!" Damn right I blame the doctor!

I hope they make an example out of Dr. Murray and hold him accountable.

I use to be a ex-dug user and I in no way blame anybody for my drug use. Our society has a way of taking personal responsibility away. His family is also doing the same. MJ was gifted no doubt but he was a drug addict. His death is his own fault. He wanted the milk. I do feel bad for his kids.

Good! Now can we please stop hearing about it, for god's sake?

I wonder what else more the sleaz doc has to do to get arrested. He does not care about the guy except his money. He know damn well how dangerous the drug is. with all the money the guy had, he could have suggest him to purchase the neccessory medical equipment to keep in the house(at least O2) in case the guy stop breathing which any one with the real medical license know it's going to happen. the sleaz is a doctor for C.S. the medical board needs to take away his license, the the law needs to throw the books at him..

Where is the video survellience tape? I heard there were a few cameras throughout the home. This is a typical superstar death cover up. However, when any of these superstars were still alive, everyone and even the law works for these individuals advantage. When they die, especially of mysterious circumstances, everyone including the law seems clueless how to solve anything in honor of the superstar himself/herself or for the family and fans. Did they really think they would find any evidence lying around at the doctor's residence or work place after months had passed by?

thomasxstewart wrote:

Murray commited homicide by obtaining control drugs in Las Vegas, Nv by writing false script with murray as patient. then traveling interstate to resell control narcotics at profit to Michael J. Jackson, in such low doseages as to insure Emotional dependance. with Lidocaine, which can cause extremely great cravings for more. Lidocaine is over counter drug used in Crack Cocaine manufacturer,
Lidocine is stimulant.

Big block to Homicide trial is DA itself. DA come up thru petty drug incursions & street level open air markets. Making conveants to avoid loss of own team extreme in calous nature. even though control Drug are Non tranferable, MD not To Profit from dispensation, Writing narcotics script in ones own name for onesself, & dispensing narcotic to drug addict ARE ALL FELONIES, Most DA don't have courage to enforce those laws. IUn Fact Da Orchestrate & Have commited More Deaths with Drug Weapons than many others.

DA Sells Priviledge & thats part of back room lawyer/Account dealing to manage highly paid "professionals", Da hopes to cull. More Boy Scout troupe than Legal Justice.

however, family Demands Prosecution & Coroner is willing to testify its' Homicide. Only FOOL wouldn't Start with greater charge & let jury decide if lesser charge is in order.


Posted by: thomasxstewart | August 24, 2009 at 09:09 PM

8/25/2009 12:24 AM EDT

Michael, was not stupid! nor was he solely responsible for his death. Michael had an addiction, he was sick mentally. Yes, Michael had a problem with Controlled Substance Abuse, he admitted that openly to the world years ago. Here is the thing; You don't help a person who has a known addiction to pain killers by administering him several different drugs within hours and then you give him a lethal dosage of a drug that is not even supposed to be used outside of an hospital setting!!!!! That is MURDER!!!!! Michale needed an Intervention, not an enabler!!!!!!!! Would you give your mother CRACK knowing she was addicted to it???

Amen, Leroy. I have delt with addics and there comes a time when they must accept responcibility for their own choices. The Jackson Family and fans must also accept this.

its a shame someone had to die over a drug that shouldnt have been used at home.the dr. should of known better.seriously.dr.murray is a vardiologist.he should of known to give mj cpr on the floor not the bed.dr.murray is so wrong for what he has done and as well as any other dr.s that are involved.a man shoulndt of died like this.mj will be sadly missed and at least now after his death he will get some peace.god bless him and god bless his children.

Hollywood doctor - oxymoron. "doctors" in Hollywood should be monitored for the prescriptions they write and for whom. Hopefully this will be a warning for all stars (& their families) who believe the yes-people they surround themselves with, as they fire the people who tell them the truth.

Worldwide Fame, Ultra Adulation, Wealth, Power, and the means = Death By Drugs. It is not right to categorize in this manner, but there is ample evidence and data supporting this point of view. Michael Jackson slipped into this “box” and by all media reports emanating out of LA, has henceforth been categorized. Sad, needless and preventable, a great talent has been lost to the world. At the very least, as this tragic story continues to unfold, we still have his music and performances.

MJ RIP you alone know that doc killed only for money, he needs to be punitive damages for 99.9 % preventable death of the beloved "mikaeel"lost precious soul May God take care of you in heaven

Elvis - The King - died from over-prescribed pharmaceuticals under the care of medical professionals. This is the list of prescribed and over-the-counter 'legal' dope found inside Elvis at autopsy.

From Rock Lists: (Dave Marsh)

Morphine, Demerol, Chloropheniramine, Valium, Placidyl, Codeine, Ethinamate, Quaaludes, barbiturates, Diazepam, Amytal, Nembutal, Carbrital, Sinutab, Elavil, Avental, and Valmid.

And inside The King of Pop's domain? (LA Police and County Coroners Office)

Propofol, valium, tamsulosin, lorazepam, temazepam, clonazepam, trazodone and tizanidine.

Both artists avoided so called 'illegal drugs' life insurance and reputation damage I'm guessing. But would it not have been better to cop a marijuana bust than to load their bloodstreams with a thousand toxic potions - as they did - and live? Presley and Jackson were 'legal' stoners. Dopes if you ask me.

And the connection between Jackson and Presley through Jackson's marriage to Lisa Marie - well, it simply beggars belief.


PS. I wish EP and MJ were both still with us.

R.I.P Dear Michael ...
gone too soon.........................
God bless you.........
(one of the iranian michael's fan )

So, is Dr. Murray going to be indicted for Manslaughter and Homicide in this case, real soon? I personally feel Manslaughter is too lenient. I feel there is overwhelming evidence of negligence and malpractice on Dr. Murray's part, a supposed Cardiologist, to prevail in both a Manslaughter and Homicide Charge. I have been an RN for 22 years and have never heard of Propofil given outside of a Surgical Department in a Hospital Setting by an Anesthesiologist with a back-up Anesthesiologist. My understanding is that Dr. Murray was not licensed to prescribe in CA, was transporting the Propofil across state lines from Nevada, administered this very powerful sedative at Mr. Jackson's Home, Dr. Murray is not an Anesthesiologist and had no back-up, Dr. Murray had no monitoring equipment at Mr. Jackson's home and most likely was administering this Sedative via a drip IV Line vs. a IV Pump which is much more accurate. Then, Dr. Murray was mixing the Propofil with multiple Benzodiazepine's which obviously compounded the effect and then left Michael to die for god knows how long? I also personally feel Dr. Murray waited hours to call 911 while he covered his tracks i.e. calling Houston to have items removed from his Storage Locker i.e. to attempt to cover up his Crime before attending to Michael's emergency which required immediate EMS activation and CPR as well as antedotes. The Chef said Dr. Murray did not come get Michael's breakfast the morning of his death 10:00 to 10:30 am, the girls were seen at his Houston Storage Locker at 9:00 am Pacific Time, I believe he was dead then. Dr. Murray's stories do not match up and he is obviously not being truthful about what really happened to Michael. All I can say, is that Dr. Murray needs immediately indicted on Homicide Charges and Manslaughter Charges, just Manslaughter is too lenient for such obvious negligence resulting in Michael Jackson's untimely and unnecessary death and he also needs charged for prescribing to an addict, transporting drugs across state lines, medical malpractice, obstuction of justice and the list goes on and on. Michael was a Superstar and always will be, however, Dr. Murray took a Hippocritic Oath when he got his Medical License and he gave up all his ethics to give Michael whatever he wanted which violates this oath and caused Michael's death, it was all about the money he was being paid by Michael and instead of being ethical, he took the money.

Please, please arrest and indict Dr. Murray soon!!!!!

Thank You!

One thing nobody has mentioned is the money that was involved here. They say "look what money can buy", well look what it bought here. Certainly not happiness. With all the medical professionals that were involved, not only were they involved "professionally" if you can call it that, by "prescribing" and administering medication. But we all know they were paid for their services. Well look what money bought here. Now not only is there a loss of a great entertainer, but his 3 children have loss the most important person in their life, their father. Not only over drugs but money as well. And nobody had the power to put an end to it. All for the love of money, how sad. May God Bless his children and may Michael Jackson rest in peace.

That Dr. Conrad Murray lied about how much Propofol /Diprivan he gave MJ on the last night. Probably the entire sequence of how things went was same all the way up til that point. The amount of propofol was more than 25 mg if Michael HAD built up a tolerance, which is the "fear" Dr. Murray said he had. That "fear" at that point was probably a "reality" -- coupled with his deposition he gave (shown on http://www.thesmokinggun.com/). If there is such a thing as tolerance build-up (and there is) and it applies to Propofol -- Dr. Murray is in deep doo-doo trying to play detox doctor without the necessary equipment.

Shame on those who might contributed to your death, but this won't bring you back, there are so many if's but i guessed that's too late now. the least that we can do , i think is to pray for your soul. May you rest in peace Michael! They can no longer hurt you nor trip on you. The Song, the Dance, you leave those as Legacy!

If you have more money than you know what to do with, you "never have to grow up", I guess. It's sad that people went along with his every whim and didn't think about what was best for him, but I think part of this is the curse of too much money.

The guy was a legend back when he was still black, but lets be real here people. The guy was obviously wierd and on drugs. That whole pedophile thing even though it wasn't 100% proven, plus he changed his skin tone and had plastic surgery more times than a Lego person...just to name a few. Oh wait! Let's not forget how great of a parent he was the way he dangled his baby over a balcony. If he was a great father then mine was the a saint.

It is a shame that this happened because proper monitoring equipment was not used as is indicated when sedatives and hypnotics are given intravenously. 25 mg of Propofol by itself will not kill anyone who is properly monitored, heck is not even an induction dose for anesthesia. The problem is that the physician felt pressured in producing a result, and put aside his professional knowledge and ethics, letting emotion take over and there lies the issue. He forgot about the 1/2 life of the sedatives previously prescribed and added Propofol to the mix, when all others had not quite celared, and physiologically, it was too much for his body to handle sending him into apnea and finally cardiopulmonary arrest as a result of the hypoxia created by the apnea. A simple pulse oxymeter with an alarm would've been probably sufficient, a $300.00 item.


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