The criminal investigation into the death of Prince, the iconic ’80s rocker, has been officially closed without arrests, even though he died from an overdose of a powerful opioid. But one of his doctors was fined $30,000 to close out a civil case.
“Despite the intensive law enforcement investigation, there is no reliable evidence showing how Prince obtained the counterfeit Vicodin laced with fentanyl, or who else may have had a role in delivering the counterfeit Vicodin to Prince,” said Carver County attorney Mark Metz at a news conference.
“Therefore, without probable cause and no identified suspect, the Carver County Attorney’s Office cannot file any criminal charges involving the death of Prince. There is no doubt that the actions of individuals around Prince will be criticised, questioned and judged in the days and weeks to come. But suspicions and innuendo are categorically insufficient to support any criminal charges.”
The closed case comes after a toxicology report was obtained last month which showed the singer’s body contained an “exceedingly high” concentration of the opiod fentanyl at the time of his death.
The Minnesota physician who saw Prince twice in the weeks before the artist’s death agreed to pay $30,000 fine to settle civil allegations that he prescribed drugs to someone else knowing that Prince would take them, according to CNN.
Dr. Michael Schulenberg prescribed the painkiller Percocet to Prince, but put the one-time prescription in the name of Kirk Johnson, Prince’s former drummer and longtime friend.
He made that decision to protect Prince’s privacy, Metz said.
None of the medications found in Prince’s home were prescribed to him, according to court documents. Some bottles of opioid painkillers in his home were prescribed to Johnson, and other medications were found in vitamin bottles and envelopes, search warrants showed.
Charles “Chazz” Smith, Prince’s cousin and drummer, had a strong reaction to the decision, according to the cable news outlet.
“I’m outraged by people in Prince’s inner circle not speaking up about what really happened. Those people who were around him when he died, they know what went on,” he said.
Prince’s associates were reportedly trying to get him into rehab at the time of his death.
Fleetwood Mac singer Stevie Nicks , a close friend, hinted last year that the “Little Red Corvette” singer may have “purposefully” overdosed.
“I don’t know in my heart of hearts whether he just took too much. Or did he purposefully take too much? Did he accidentally take too much? When you get to be our age – and he was younger than me – and you’re like ‘I’m not making hit records any more … I’m not able to really tour any more because of my health …’ You’re not married, you don’t have children … you don’t hang out with a bunch of people because you’re really an isolationist.”
The 69-year-old music icon believes Prince was “isolated” as he had no children following the death of his son Ahmir a week after his birth in 1996, and no partner.
Check out a video of the news conference below and be sure to follow IM on Twitter for the latest music news.