Minnesota prosecutor announces no charges filed in Prince's death
20 April, 2018, 01:30 | Author: Genevieve Gibbs
"Prince had no idea he was taking a counterfeit pill that could kill him", the government official said.
Mr Metz's announcement came just hours after documents revealed that a doctor who was accused of illegally prescribing an opioid for Prince agreed to pay 30,000 United States dollars to settle a civil violation of a federal drug law.
But Metz said that the motivation was more to protect Prince's privacy and that there was no evidence that Schulenberg gave the star fentanyl. "Nothing in the evidence suggests Prince knowingly took fentanyl". Prince's autopsy showed that he had "exceedingly high" levels of fentanyl in his system at the time of death, which was determined to be a self-administered overdose, reported NBC News.
Read the documents the U.S. Department of Justice released Thursday in full below.
"Prince's death is a tragic example that prescription opioid addictions and deaths do not discriminate", he said.
Authorities alleged Schulenberg, a family physician who saw Prince twice before he died, illegally prescribed an opioid to Prince in violation of the Controlled Substances Act.
The settlement comes as state prosecutors are planning to announce whether anyone will be charged in the two-year investigation into Prince's death. But six days before his death, an airplane Prince was travelling on made an emergency stop in Moline, Ill., because the Minnesota native had passed out. There was no "reliable evidence", Metz said, that revealed who provided the singer with the counterfeit medication.
Schulenberg is not now a target of any criminal investigation, federal prosecutors said in a letter to his attorney.
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Search warrants unsealed about a year after Prince died showed that authorities searched his home, cellphone records of associates and his email accounts to try to determine how he got the drug.
There are no restrictions on Dr. Schulenberg's medical license, and contrary to headlines and media reports published in the wake of today's unsealing of search warrants relating to the investigation, Dr. Schulenberg never directly prescribed opioids to Prince, nor did he ever prescribe opioids to any other person with the intent that they would be given to Prince. Prince was revived by first responders using the drug Naloxone, a fast-acting agent used to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose.
Beyond the fine, Dr. Michael Todd Schulenberg is also required to be monitored under a two-year agreement with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration where his prescriptions will be inspected, according to documents detailing the settlement. His attorney has disputed that claim. The doctor made no admission of facts and denied any liability, she said.
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