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Search Warrant: Doctor Admits Prescribing Painkiller to Prince Under Another Name to Protect Star's Privacy

April 19, 2017 12:59 PM

Search warrants executed by local authorities were unsealed Monday, nearly a year since Prince died from an accidental drug overdose at Paisley Park in Chanhassen.

The newest information, according to a statement included in one of the warrants released, is Dr. Michael Todd Schulenberg - a 47-year-old family care physician who worked at a Minnetonka clinic a few miles from Prince's Paisley Park studio and home - admitted to Detective Chris Nelson that "he had prescribed Prince a prescription for oxycodone the same day as the emergency plane landing but put the prescription in Kirk Johnson's name for Prince's privacy."

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Prince used the alias "Peter Bravestrong" while he would travel investigators believe. Controlled substances in containers were in a suitcase in Prince's bedroom with the name tag "Peter Bravestrong" on it.

Search warrants released Monday reveal the following:

April 27: Search for Potential Cause of Death

According to court documents released Monday, a search warrant executed on April 27, 2016 - six days after Prince was found dead - revealed a list of pills investigators found. Investigators found some of the pill bottles had been labeled as vitamins. A vitamin D bottle was found to contain the controlled substance Ondansetron Hydrochloride.

Prince had a history of going through withdrawals, which were believed to be the result of the abuse of prescription medication.

The search warrant states pharmaceutical bottles with the name of Kirk Johnson were found in a second floor dressing room at Prince's residence.

A longtime friend of Prince, Kirk Johnson was a drummer and the estate manager at Paisley Park. Investigators interviewed Johnson sometime after Prince's death, and he told them Prince had gone to a local medical center for an illness in 2014 or 2015.

RELATED: Prince's Death: Key Players in the Investigation and Aftermath

The April 27 search warrant indicates authorities were seeking "any medications found within the address," "any and all documentation that may include or describe information on the deceased medical condition, treatments, medical history, prescriptions," "any and all illicit narcotics that could explain the cause of the decedent's death," "narcotic related paraphernalia, including scales, narcotic residues, syringes," and "any notes, ledgers, receipts, prescriptions, and other documentation that could explain the source of any medication and/or illicit narcotics discovered in the premises."

Carver County Sheriff's Office Detective Angela Nucci wrote in the warrant that she was "made aware by witnesses that were interviewed, that Prince recently had a history of going through withdrawals, which are believed to be the result of the abuse of prescription medicine."

Prince's assistant told investigators they "had arranged a meeting between Prince and medical professionals to assess and address Prince's medical concerns," the search warrant states.

Read the search warrant filed April 27 here.

Meanwhile, on May 3, a decision was made for the case to become a federal DEA investigation.

May 6: Potential Criminal Investigation Launched 

Investigators filed three search warrants two weeks after Prince's death.

First Search Warrant

The first warrant searched Prince's silver Apple laptop to obtain any information related to his passwords, emails and logins. With this warrant, a forensic computer examiner searched the hard drives or removable media, attempting to find existing and deleted files.

Prince did not use a cell phone and communicated via land line and email. Investigators say that made his silver Apple laptop valuable evidence:

"The property above-described constitutes evidence which tends to show a crime has been committed, or tends to show that a particular person has committed, or tends to show that a particular person has committed a crime," the first warrant states.

Read the first search warrant filed May 6 here.

Second Search Warrant

A second search warrant filed May 6 focused on a backpack seized from 27-year-old Andrew Bateson Kornfeld. Investigators believed it contained pills, medications and suspected narcotics, based on their interview with Kornfeld.

Kornfeld, a pre-med student, was one of the three people who found Prince at his Paisley Park studio on April 21. Search warrants reveal six people were at Paisley Park when Prince was found.

Investigators said interviews with those present at Paisley Park when Prince was found - including Meron Bekure, Prince's assistant, and Johnson - gave contradictory statements about what had happened.

Before Kornfeld was taken to be interviewed at Chanhassen City Hall, he asked to recover his backpack. However, investigators kept the backpack during his interview.

During the interview, Kornfeld told police he arrived at Paisley Park around 6 a.m., planning to meet with Prince. He said he was there on behalf of his father's recovery clinic called Recovery Without Walls to see if Prince would qualify and be interested in their program.

KSTP learned during its initial reporting, Kornfeld, sent on behalf of his father, was carrying a small dose of the drug buprenorphine.

Advocates of the drug say the opiate can help addicted patients by offering pain relief with reduced possibility of overdose and addiction. Kornfeld is listed as a consultant with his father's clinic and is a pre-med student, according to his attorney William Mauzy.

Mauzy said the mission Andrew Kornfeld was sent on was consistent with the work he has done for his father's clinic for years.

Kornfeld told investigators Bekure and Johnson began search for Prince in the studio. Kornfeld heard a scream, and ran to see Prince lying on his side in the elevator.

Kornfeld believed Prince was already dead and called 911.

Kornfeld said Johnson revealed Prince was struggling with opiate use. Kornfeld said he believed there may have been opiate withdrawal.

When asked what was in the bag, Kornfeld said he had pills with him, including buprenorphine and ativan. These drugs are used for addicts who are having a seizure.

He also told investigators he would not administer the medicine without consulting a physician or calling 911. 

Read the second search warrant filed May 6 here.

Third Search Warrant

The third search warrant seeks Prince's medical records, which was based on interviews with Schulenberg.    

In the weeks before Prince's April 21 death, the musician met twice with Schulenberg, according to search warrant documents.

Schulenberg is no longer working for the health care system connected to the clinic, but the health care system won't say why and his attorney declined to comment.

Investigators interviewed Schulenberg the day Prince died and searched the health care system's flagship hospital for Prince's medical records.

The warrant documents say Schulenberg prescribed Prince medications in recent weeks, but what they were and whether Prince took them is unknown.

Read the third search warrant filed May 6 here.

June 1 and 10: Phone Information Collected to Establish Timeline

A series of search warrants filed in June sought call detail record information for all cellular devices using the cell site and sector areas near Paisley Park from April 20, 2016 through April 21, 2016. The information sought included date, time, duration, originating number, termination number, and more regarding any cell activity.

Read the first search warrant filed in June here.

Read the second search warrant filed in June here.

Read the third search warrant filed in June here.

Read the fourth search warrant filed in June here.

Read the fifth search warrant filed in June here.

Sept. 19: Search into Electronic Communication

Two search warrants filed in September sought information on three specific Google Mail accounts, including emails, sent mail, deleted items, images and video. Information regarding the holders of those email addresses was also sought, including names, addresses, telephone numbers and log in information.

According to a statement made by one of Prince's bodyguards, Prince had once owned a cell phone but after it was hacked and much of his personal information was stolen, Prince became cautious of storing information on a phone and began sending emails. He would use his Apple MacBook to send those emails and to read reviews about his performances.

It was revealed, through the search warrants, that Johnson had access to an email account listed in Prince's name.

Read the first search warrant filed in September here.

Read the second search warrant filed in September here.

Credits

Rebecca Omastiak & Theresa Malloy

Copyright 2017 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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