Court says Prince was not murdered

DETROIT • Prince was not murdered and no one will be criminally charged in his 2016 death by accidental drug overdose, the authorities said on Thursday.

They added that they could not determine who had provided the powerful drug that killed the musician, who was then aged 57.

He had been struggling with a dependence on painkillers, Carver County lawyer Mark Metz said.

Prince took a lookalike, counterfeit version of the drug that was far more powerful and dangerous, Mr Metz noted.

The investigation uncovered "no sinister motive, intent or conspiracy" to kill the singer.

However, Dr Michael Schulenberg, the doctor who had treated the superstar just before his death, has agreed to pay US$30,000 (S$39,000) to settle a federal civil violation for an illegal prescription.

Mr Metz said Dr Schulenberg had prescribed the painkiller Percocet in the name of Mr Kirk Johnson, Prince's bodyguard.

It is illegal to write a prescription for someone knowing that the drug will be used by another person.

Dr Schulenberg admitted no liability as part of the settlement and has maintained he did not prescribe drugs to anyone with the intention they be redirected to Prince.

Mr Metz said the pills prescribed by Dr Schulenberg did not lead to Prince's fatal overdose.

NYTIMES

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 21, 2018, with the headline 'Court says Prince was not murdered'. Print Edition | Subscribe