April 20, 2018 05:27 AM
The Carver County Attorney's Office will announce Thursday whether it will file criminal charges against anyone in the death of music superstar Prince.
The announcement is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. Thursday at the Carver County Courthouse in Chaska.
The news comes days before the two-year anniversary of Prince's death from an accidental opioid overdose on April 21, 2016.
The 57-year-old Minnesota music icon was found unresponsive and alone in an elevator at Paisley Park.
In court documents, local, state and federal authorities referred to his death as "an active homicide investigation." The two-year probe has been complicated, and has involved multiple states and multiple individuals.
There is Kirk Johnson, a longtime friend of Prince, a drummer and the estate manager at Paisley Park. A search warrant unsealed in 2017 revealed authorities scrutinized his cell phone records.
And there is Dr. Michael Schulenberg, a family practitioner who treated Prince. Schulenberg is suspected of writing a prescription for the painkiller oxycodone in Johnson's name with the intention that the drug would go to Prince.
Court documents allege Schulenberg told investigators what he did was wrong. Later, his attorneys retracted the statement.
Former U.S. Attorney Rachel Paulose addressed that issue: "If other people procure prescriptions for Prince, doctors forge prescriptions, or if people were falsifying information, that could be a type of fraud."
Prince was found dead one day before he was supposed to meet with California-based Dr. Howard Kornfeld, an addiction treatment specialist. Kornfeld's son, Andrew, was one of the people who discovered Prince's body.
Andrew had flown ahead with a dose of medicine meant to relieve withdrawal symptoms.
The investigation has focused on how Prince got the fentanyl.
His autopsy revealed he accidentally self-administered a massive dose of fentanyl no one could survive.
Paulose, now in private practice with DLA Piper, said "There is one question, who or what supplied the fentanyl which caused Prince to overdose and ultimately, tragically die?"
Mark Metz is the Carver County Attorney.
He sent a notice Wednesday which stated, "the legal status of matters" would be announced Thursday morning.
He also said he would not take questions from the media.
The timing of the announcement is interesting, given the two-year anniversary of Prince's death is Saturday.
And Friday is the deadline for Prince's heirs to determine if they want to file a wrongful death lawsuit in Illinois.
Six days before his death, Prince was on a private plane heading back to Minneapolis from a concert in Atlanta when his plane made an emergency landing in Illinois after he became sick and passed out.
Emergency room doctors treated him and used two shots of narcan to counteract the opiate overdose. Prince refused further medical treatment and flew home to Paisley Park.
Records show that in the week before his overdose, Prince made four trips to a nearby pharmacy.
KSTP will have live coverage of the press conference on our midday newscast on Channel 5, and online at KSTP.com.
Beth McDonough and Theresa Malloy
Updated: April 20, 2018 05:27 AM
Created: April 18, 2018 11:53 AM
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