No charges in Prince death after two-year probe

Charging Decision in Prince's Death Coming Thursday

AP Chris O'Me

THE prosecutor in the U.S. county where Prince died says no criminal charges will be filed in the musician's death, effectively ending the state of Minnesota's two-year investigation into how Prince got the fentanyl that killed him.

Prince, who suffered from an opiate addiction, died of an accidental fentanyl overdose after taking counterfeit Vicodin pills that were laced with fentanyl, Metz said.

Schulenberg, who is accused of illegally prescribing Prince an opioid a week before the musician died, will pay $30,000 in a settlement for a federal court case over the prescription, the US Attorney's office announced on Thursday.

Metz says evidence showed that Prince took counterfeit Vicodin without knowing it.

No criminal charges will be filed in Prince's overdose death and the investigation has been closed, officials revealed during a press conference Thursday.

Prince, whose full name was Prince Rogers Nelson, was found unresponsive in an elevator at his Paisley Park estate in a Minneapolis suburb early in the morning two years ago, following a massive overdose.

Authorities found a "significant number" of pain pills hidden all over Paisley Park in bottles other than their original pharmacy containers, Metz confirmed.

Prosecutors in Minnesota said counterfeit pills containing the drug were found inside his home but they were unable to determine the source.

Fentanyl is a powerful painkiller about 30 to 50 times stronger than heroin. No suspect emerged, he said, during the "painstaking and thorough" investigation by the Carver County Sheriff's Office, which was coordinated with "several federal, state and local agencies".

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Carver County Attorney Mark Metz announced Thursday that investigators had found no evidence to charge anyone in the case. Schulenberg's attorney says he denies writing an illegal prescription but settled the civil claim to avoid the cost of litigation.

Conners said that Schulenberg affirmed he did not prescribe opiates to any patient with the intention that they be given to Prince. The concentration of fentanyl in Prince's blood was 67.8 micrograms per liter, which outside experts called "exceedingly high".

As Metz laid out, Schulenberg will not be facing any criminal charges.

" There is no trustworthy evidence showing Prince got the Vicodin or that else may have a part in delivering the most imitation Vicodin into Prince", Metz explained.

While many who knew Prince over the years said he had a reputation for clean living, some said he also struggled with pain after years of intense performances.

Prince did not have a prescription for fentanyl.

Schulenberg saw Prince on April 7, 2016, at Johnson's request, according to authorities, and prescribed Vitamin D and a nausea medication - under Johnson's name.

Prince, known for his androgynous style and sexually charged songs, died a day before he was set to meet a California-based doctor who specialises in addiction treatment for a "life-saving mission". Andrew Kornfeld was carrying buprenorphine, a medication that can be used to help treat opioid addiction.

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