August 28, 2009
Posted: 02:48 PM ET
Editor's Note: Larry King Live will have all the latest news on Michael Jackson tonight at 9pmET/6pmPT.
LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) - The Los Angeles County coroner has ruled that Michael Jackson's death was a homicide involving a combination of drugs.
"The drugs propofol and lorazepam were found to be the primary drugs responsible for Mr. Jackson's death," said a news release issued by the coroner Friday. "Other drugs detected were: midazolam, diazepam, lidocaine and ephedrine."
The release said Jackson died from "acute propofol intoxication," but it added "other conditions contributing to death: benzodiazepine effect." Lorazepam, midazolam and diazepam are benzodiazepines.
The full and final autopsy report and the complete toxicology report "will remain on security hold at the request of the Los Angeles Police Department and the Los Angeles County district attorney," the release said. "In accordance with this request, the Department of Coroner will not comment on its completed investigation."
Dr. Conrad Murray, Jackson's personal physician, told investigators that he had given Jackson three anti-anxiety drugs - lorazepam, midazolam, diazepam - in an effort to help him sleep in the hours before he stopped breathing, according to a police affidavit made public earlier this week.
Murray also told detectives he administered a dosage of the anesthesia propofol, diluted with lidocaine, to Jackson a short time before he stopped breathing, the same affidavit said.
The 32-page sworn statement was written by Los Angeles Police Detective Orlando Martinez to outline probable cause for warrants to search Murray's offices, home and storage rooms in Texas and Nevada.
Murray told detectives that he had been treating Jackson for insomnia for six weeks, giving him 50 mg of propofol, the generic name for Diprivan, diluted with the anesthetic lidocaine every night via an intravenous drip, the affidavit said.
Worried that Jackson might become addicted to the drug, the Houston cardiologist said, he tried to wean his high-profile patient from it, putting together combinations of other drugs that succeeded in helping Jackson sleep during the two nights before his death.
But on the morning of June 25, other drugs failed to do the job, Murray recounted to detectives in an hour-by-hour account that was detailed by Detective Martinez:
- About 1:30 a.m., Murray gave Jackson 10 mg of Valium (diazepam).
- About 2 a.m., he injected Jackson with 2 mg of the anti-anxiety drug Ativan (lorazepam).
- About 3 a.m., Murray then administered 2 mg of the sedative Versed (midazolam).
- About 5 a.m., he administered another 2 mg of Ativan.
- About 7:30 a.m., Murray gave Jackson yet another 2 mg of Versed while monitoring him with a device that measured the oxygen saturation of his blood.
- About 10:40 a.m., "after repeated demands/requests from Jackson," Murray administered 25 mg of propofol, the document said.
"Jackson finally went to sleep and Murray stated that he remained monitoring him. After approximately 10 minutes, Murray stated he left Jackson's side to go to the restroom and relieve himself. Murray stated he was out of the room for about two minutes maximum. Upon his return, Murray noticed that Jackson was no longer breathing."
Efforts at CPR proved fruitless. Jackson was pronounced dead at UCLA Medical Center at 2:26 p.m.
Murray's lawyer, Ed Chernoff, issued a statement this week dismissing media accounts of this final section of the timeline.
"Dr. Murray simply never told investigators that he found Michael Jackson at 11 a.m. not breathing," Chernoff said. "He also never said that he waited a mere 10 minutes before leaving to make several phone calls. In fact, Dr. Murray never said that he left Michael Jackson's room to make phone calls at all."
Chernoff declined comment on Friday's announcement from the coroner.
When Los Angeles police conclude their criminal probe, it will be left to the Los Angeles County district attorney to decide who - if anyone - to prosecute in Jackson's death.
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