Prosecutor Will Not File Criminal Charges In Prince's Death Investigation
The investigation into Prince’s death has closed.
No criminal charges will be filed in relation to Prince‘s death, Carver County attorney Mark Metz announced in a news conference Thursday. Metz also stated that the musician died of an accidental fentanyl overdose.
Prince, who reportedly suffered from an opiate addiction, died of an accidental fentanyl overdose after taking counterfeit Vicodin pills laced with fentanyl, a highly-addictive painkiller about 30 to 50 times stronger than heroin.
“Prince had no idea he was taking a counterfeit pill that could kill him,” the attorney said. There has been no evidence showing how Prince obtained those counterfeit pills, Metz said in the conference, and no evidence that those around him knew. Because of this, no criminal charges were filed in the case.
Federal prosecutors and the Drug Enforcement Administration had opened an investigation into how the late artist obtained the prescription and found that none of the medications found in Prince’s home were prescribed to him.
Although no criminal charges were made, Dr. Michael Schulenberg, the Minnesota physician who saw Prince twice weeks before his death agreed to pay the US $30,000 to settle civil allegations that he prescribed drugs to someone else knowing that Prince would take them. According to Metz, Schulenberg prescribed the painkiller Percocet to Prince as a one-time prescription, but the pills were in the name of Kirk Johnson, Prince’s former drummer and friend.
“I’m outraged by people in the artist’s inner circle not speaking up about what really happened,” Charles “Chazz” Smith, Prince’s cousin and drummer, told CNN. “Those people who were around him when he died, they know what went on.”
The news comes almost two years to the day Prince was found unresponsive in an elevator at his Paisley Park home in Chanhassen, Minnesota. He was 57.