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A law enforcement official tells The Associated Press that the Los Angeles County coroner has ruled Michael Jackson's death a homicide.
The finding makes it more likely criminal charges will be filed against the doctor who was with the pop star when he died.
The official says the coroner determined a fatal combination of drugs was given to Jackson hours before he died in his rented Los Angeles mansion on June 25. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the findings have not been publicly released.
Forensic tests found the powerful anesthetic propofol in Jackson's system along with two sedatives, the official says.
Dr. Conrad Murray, Jackson's personal physician, is the target of a manslaughter probe headed by Los Angeles police.
Murray acknowledged that he had administered the drug to Jackson on a nightly basis as a treatment for insomnia, according to court records unsealed today in Houston and obtained by the Los Angeles Times.
According to a report on the Times Web site, the search warrant affidavit states that Murray told Los Angeles police detectives that he had been giving Jackson 50 milligrams of propofol every night using an intravenous line for about six weeks.
Murray claimed, however, that he feared Jackson was becoming addicted to the medication and was trying to wean him off the drug. He said he lowered the dosage to 25 milligrams and mixed it with two other sedatives — lorazepam and midazolam, according to the court document.
According to the Times report, Murray told investigators that on the morning of Jackson's death, he tried to induce sleep without using propofol, using a variety of drugs at various times throughout the morning instead. When those medications failed, Jackson repeatedly demanded the propofol, and Murray administered 25 milligrams of the drug, according to the court document.
Murray discovered Jackson not breathing around midday June 25 at his rented Holmby Hills estate. He administered CPR until paramedics arrived and took the singer to Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead about two hours later.
Although autopsy results have not been released, the Houston search warrant affidavit notes that coroners found lethal levels of propofol, the Times reported.
This program aired on August 24, 2009. The audio for this program is not available.
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