Prince's death investigation comes to an end with the county not pressing for criminal charges
Carver County Attorney Mark Metz said on April 19th that after two years of painstaking investigation, they could not establish who provided the singer with fentanyl painkillers.
Carver County Attorney Mark Metz said on Thursday, April 19th that the county has decided to end the investigation surrounding Prince's death without pressing criminal charges against anybody. He added that investigators had carried out an "extensive, painstaking and thorough" investigation for two years but couldn't determine who provided the singer with fentanyl painkillers that was present in the Vicodin medicines that he consumed.
Prince passed away on April 21, 2016 at age 57. The sheriff's deputies found the singer dead in an elevator when they responded to an emergency call from Paisley Park, Prince's home and recording studio in Chanhassen, Minnesota. Two months later, the Midwest Medical Examiner's Office said in its report that he had died from an accidental Fentanyl overdose. A later report claimed that the amount of Fentanyl in Prince's bloodstream was well above the lethal level.
For the past two years, Carver County attorney investigated the source of the Fentanyl which ultimately led to his death. During the prosecutors' investigation, they found several other controlled substances in vitamin containers. Nevertheless, they couldn't find a prescription for these substances, says a report by Rolling Stones.
In the weeks after the singer's death, his doctor Michael Schulenberg, and his bodyguard Kirk Johnson admitted that they helped him secure some of the controlled substances found in his apartment. Schulenberg told the police that he had prescribed Prince 15 Percocet pills in the name of his driver in order to keep the singer's identity a secret. However, they denied procuring fentanyl for him.
Metz statement came after certain documents revealed that the doctor had agreed to pay $30,000 to settle a federal civil violation. During a press conference, however, Metz told reporters, "Prince did not die from taking a prescribed Percocet" adding that his investigation did not reveal any links between Schulenberg and Fentanyl.
In a statement, U.S. Attorney Greg Brooker said, "Doctors are trusted medical professionals and, in the midst of our opioid crisis, they must be part of the solution. As licensed professionals, doctors are held to a high level of accountability in their prescribing practices, especially when it comes to highly addictive painkillers. The U.S. attorney’s office and the DEA will not hesitate to take action against healthcare providers who fail to comply with the Controlled Substances Act. We are committed to using every available tool to stem the tide of opioid abuse," according to Rolling Stone.