Houston Police Seek Jackson Manslaughter Link

By: Ben Tracy, CBS News
By: Ben Tracy, CBS News

HOUSTON, Texas -- (CBS/AP) Authorities searched the Houston clinic of Michael Jackson's doctor Wednesday, and his attorney said they were seeking evidence of manslaughter.

Dr. Conrad Murray had been interviewed by police as a witness to the pop star's death, but has not been considered a suspect. Police have said little about the probe, neither confirming or denying the possibility of criminal charges.

Los Angeles police and agents with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration went through the Armstrong Medical Clinic on Wednesday for about 2 1/2 hours. Authorities said they were searching for documents.

A law enforcement source tells CBS News that the search warrant was based on a preliminary autopsy report pointing to propofol - also known as Diprivan - as the possible cause of Jackson's death. The drug is a powerful anesthetic meant only for use in surgery, but was found inside Jackson's rented mansion, according to reports.

Agents left with "a forensic image" of a computer hard drive and 21 documents.

Dr. Murray has emerged as a central figure in the investigation. The doctor, who had been recently hired by Jackson, was with him in his mansion and tried to revive him.

Szeleczky said the agents were looking for Murray's records, not drugs, but wouldn't specify further. She declined to say how the search related to Jackson's death.

The search of Murray's office hard drive indicates authorities are looking not just for patient records but also for e-mails either between the doctor and Jackson or orders for prescription drugs, said Harland Braun, a prominent Los Angeles defense attorney who has represented doctors in cases involving administration of drugs.

"The coroner wants to clear up the cause of death; we share that goal," Chernoff said in his statement. "Based on Dr. Murray's minute-by-minute and item-by-item description of Michael Jackson's last days, he should not be a target of criminal charges."

It's still not known what caused Jackson's death at age 50. The pop star went into cardiac arrest in his bedroom and Murray performed CPR while an ambulance was called, according to Murray's lawyers.

An autopsy was conducted but results are not expected until next week. The Jackson family had a second autopsy performed and those results also are pending.


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