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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)

murray thought michael was sleeping so he did not check on him ,murray yacked on the phone for 47 minutes ,thinking michael was sleeping ,when he went to check on michael he was not breathing ,murray panicked tried to revive him but too much time had passed.michael was dead.. murray needs to pay for killing michael ..michael DID NOT DESERVE TO DIE THE WAY HE DID,IT WAS TOTALLY PREVENTABLE,WHILE MICHAEL HAD ALL THOSE OTHER DOCS HE WAS OK BUT AS SOON AS MURRAY COMES INTO THE PIC MICHAEL DIES...MURRAY YOU NEED TO PAY...

Take away the fact that Michael was a celebrity and you have an average man who was addicted to one of the biggest leading causes of death: painkillers. Of course the doctor shouldn't have given in to Michael's request for more meds, but this goes to show how powerful money and fame is. How many die hard Michael fans out there would've done ANYTHING to make him happy? How mnay out there would've gone along with ANY of his requests simply because he's the King of Pop?
It's sad that money makes the world go round, but the BIGGEST issue here is that of ADDICTION. There are millions of people in the world suffering from benzo addiction. We forget too, that family is so important in intervening during times of addiction. No one really knows if Michael's family tried to intervene. The media is putting a crooked doctor in the spotlight, which takes the focus off the bigger picture.

Absolutely CRAZY! why so many drugs to go to sleep...?why not go to the store and buy something over the counter...why not the health food store?

This is absolutely "C R A Z Y"

All the doctors should be accountable...not just one......but if Michael is begging for this, someone should have tried to Get him Help"....what about saying "NO, YOU CAN'T HAVE THIS"...what about "N O"

NO is NO for everybody.....RICH, Famous or the poor.....NO

I feel so sad about Michael's tragedy, his poor kids, family, and I also feel so angry about all of the people who are just trying to get rich off a kind, gentle person such as Michael. I hope the doctor/doctors pay a heavy price for their actions.

Personally, I don't think his doctor was a monster. He was in over his head as soon as he took MJ as a client. He undoubtably wished he could run away as fast as he could but MJ was begging him for the injection that ended up killing him. What could he do? He knew MJ was in danger and was trying to wean him off the propofol, but Jackson wouldn't have it. Ya know, I have a good friend who's wife died of an anti-depressant overdose that sounds eerily similar to this. She got disoriented and was probably thinking, "Did I take my last dosage of high-powered drugs? I feel like crap so I must have forgotten." Now she's dead. Elvis killed himself getting ready to go out on tour too. He neglected his health for so long, then he decided to make a "come back." He started exercising his out of shape body in preparation of going back out on the road, and increased his sleeping pills. Hey, it's understandable, he needed to be fit to be a sensation again, right? Sounds kinda familar, huh? I assumed MJ was self medicating too, but apparently his doctor was there. Nevertheless, the results remain the same.


Has the investigation stopped. Something should be done to that monster of a doctor who killed Michael Jackson.


Propophol in the home is manslaugher. Practicing without being licenced in the state is manslaughter. Propophol to sleep is manslaughter. Propophol on a regular basis is manslaughter. Propophol without a the doctor being authorized to even order it is is manslaughter. But....then you gave him a leathal dose??? I am sure that means more than 25 milligrams. I am sure you lied about using the bathroom....afterall theres 3 phone calls before you even called the ambulance and you left that out. If you lie once, you lie twice. ALL THIS STUFF ADDS TO HOMOCIDE EVEN IF MJ WAS AN ADDICT AND I HOPE THEY THROW THE BOOK AT YOU. IT ALMOST SEEMS LIKE YOU KILLED HIM TO BE FAMOUS. DO YOU KNOW WHAT A LOSS mj IS? yOU KILLED A PART OF OUR WORLD CULTURE. hE WAS A LIVING BREATHING ICON AND YOU KILLED HIM.

Why are people acting like Michael Jackson was an invalid in a coma? He requested these drugs and obviously the day he died wasn't the first time he took some variation of these drugs. He took them willingly and HE hired the doctor to help him with his slow suicide. How could he have performed anyway as a junkie...that show would've been an embarrassment.

I love michael jacksons music

But he knew what he was getting involved in

wow thats hard to beleive that he didnt kill him if he was on the phone for 45 Minuts r.i.p. mj u will be in our hearts forever

cant blame just the docter blame michael jackson to cause he wanted the drug everyone has to pay a price soon maybe it was his time god said.....GOD BLESS PRINCE,PARIS,AND BLANKET

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