CHASKA, Minn. (KMSP) - Prosecutors in Minnesota will make an announcement
Thursday on whether or not anyone will be criminally charged in the April
21, 2016 death of music icon Prince at his Paisley Park estate. Carver
County Attorney Mark Metz has called an 11:30 a.m. CT news conference
for Thursday, April 19.
found alone and unresponsive in an elevator at his Paisley Park estate on April 21, 2016. A
911 call placed at 9:43 a.m. that day informed the dispatcher, "Yes, it's
Prince." Prince was pronounced dead at 10:07 a.m.
Public data released six weeks after his death showed he died of an accidental
overdose of fentanyl, a synthetic opioid 50 times more powerful than heroin.
A toxicology report recently obtained by the Associated Press revealed
the 57-year-old had an “exceedingly high” concentration of
fentanyl in his body when he died.
Last month, a Carver County judge
ordered the partial release of documents in Prince’s death investigation to his siblings, specifically the
documents related to his drug overdose in Moline, Illinois days before
his fatal overdose at Paisley Park. The statute of limitations for filing
a civil lawsuit in Illinois expires two years after a death, giving his
heirs a deadline of April 21.
In October 2016, a court order extended the seal on the search warrants
and accompanying documents involved in the Prince death investigation
until April 17, 2017. On that date, those documents were unsealed and
search warrants and affidavits show which drugs were recovered from Paisley Park, which drugs Prince
may have been using, where he got them from, and who he got them from.
But the documents don’t reveal the big missing piece in the criminal
investigation: Where did Prince get the fentanyl that killed him?
According to the search warrants, Carver County Sheriff’s investigators
and the DEA searched Paisley Park and the mobile phone records of Prince’s
associates, as well as email accounts used by Prince and his associates
in an effort to find the source of the fentanyl.
PRINCE DIDN’T HAVE ANY PRESCRIPTIONS: According to the court documents,
Prince didn’t have a prescription for any of the drugs found at
Paisley Park. Investigators learned his longtime friend and business associate,
Kirk Johnson, was known to have contacted Dr. Michael Todd Schulenberg
to help Prince with treating his hip pain. Dr. Schulenberg met with Prince
and prescribed him clonidine, hydroxyzine pamoate and diazepam, which
were filled on April 20 at Walgreen’s on County Road 101 in Minnetonka.
DRUGS FOUND AT PAISLEY PARK: According to the search warrants, investigators
recovered a wide range of drugs from Paisley Park – but most were
mislabeled and none were prescribed to Prince. The following drugs were
itemized in the court documents:
15 white capsules numbered 853 found in the second floor dressing room
on the east side.
CVS Pharmacy bottle in the name of Kirk Johnson, labeled Vitamin D2, containing
7 green capsules with 194 imprint, 8 orange oval pills located in a “mirror
room” inside a suitcase. Pill imprint 194 is associated with Vitamin
D2 (ergocalciferol) .
Bayer bottle with 64 1/4 white pills with Watson 853. Watson 853 is an
imprint on generic pills that contain acetaminophen and hydrocodone bitartrate.
CVS Pharmacy bottle in the name of Kirk Johnson containing ondasentron
HCl, an anti-nausea medication typically prescribed to chemotherapy patients.
The bottle contained 10 white pills with the inscription A-349 and one
orange pill with the inscription No. 8. Pills with A-349 are associated
with acetaminophen and oxycodone hydrochloride, and orange pills with
No. 8 are ondasentron.
Aleve bottle with 20 1/2 white pills labeled Watson 853, an imprint on
generic pills that contain acetaminophen and hydrocodone bitartrate.
Investigators also recovered a “Recovery Without Walls” pamphlet
recovered the Purple Rain room. Recovery Without Walls is a California-based
prescription drug and alcohol addiction program run by Dr. Howard Kornfeld.
TREATMENT PROGRAM: According to the court documents, Andrew Kornfeld was
at Paisley Park when police arrived at the death scene. He had arrived
in Minneapolis that morning to meet with Prince. His father, Dr. Howard
Kornfeld, arranged for him to come in his place to meet with Prince “to
discuss concerns, determine if Prince was a candidate for their program
and determine if he was willing to participate in their program.”
Kornfeld told detectives that he had drugs in his backpack to help Prince,
but would not have administered them without a doctor present. He said
his father was unaware that he had brought the drugs.
KIRK JOHNSON'S PRESCRIPTION PICK-UPS: According to court documents,
Kirk Johnson went to Walgreen’s and picked up Prince’s prescription
medication, prescribed in his name. He told investigators this was the
first time he had ever done something like that for Prince. During a search
warrant executed at Paisley Park on April 21, the day Prince was found
dead, a suitcase was found in Prince’s bedroom next to his bed.
The suitcase contained prescription pill bottles in the name of Kirk Johnson,
and a closer examination of those pill bottles revealed that not all the
pills inside the containers were the pills listed on the prescription.
The medications were prescribed by Dr. Schulenberg.
Johnson, however, denies any role in Prince's overdose death, with
his attorney releasing a statement to Fox 9 saying, "After reviewing
the search warrants and affidavits released today, we believe that it
is clear that Kirk Johnson did not secure nor supply the drugs which caused
DOCTOR TRIED TO PROTECT PRINCE'S PRIVACY: Carver County investigators
and the DEA learned that Prince had no prescriptions issued to him and
that Kirk Johnson had only one, oxycodone, which was prescribed on April
14 by Dr. Schulenberg, the same doctor who was at the scene of Paisley
Park the day Prince died. Dr. Schulenberg admitted in a statement to a
detective that he had given Prince a prescription for oxycodone the same
day as an emergency plane landing in Moline, Illinois, but put the prescription
in Kirk Johnson’s name for Prince’s privacy.
He pushed back against those police reports Monday, with his attorney releasing
the following statement:
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.
EMERGENCY LANDING: Investigators learned Prince had “passed out”
during a flight from Atlanta to Minneapolis on Thursday April 15, 2016
into Friday, April 16, 2016 after a concert in Atlanta. Prince’s
private jet made an emergency landing at the airport in Moline, Illinois.
According to one of the witnesses interviewed, Prince admitted to taking
one to two “pain pills”.
PRINCE DIDN’T OWN A CELL PHONE: One of Prince’s bodyguards
told investigators that Prince had once owned a cell phone, but that after
his cell phone was hacked into and a lot of his personal information was
stolen, “Prince became leery of storing his information on the phone
and stopped carrying a cell phone and began sending emails.”
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