Prince's Death Investigation Ends With a Fizzle

'We simply do not have sufficient evidence to charge anyone'
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 19, 2018 12:28 PM CDT
Prince's Death Investigation Ends With a Fizzle
Prince performs during the halftime show at the Super Bowl in 2007.   (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara, File)

Prince suffered a fatal overdose in 2016 when he took fentanyl pills that were disguised as prescription Vicodin tablets. But after a two-year investigation, authorities in Minnesota say they haven't been able to uncover who provided the counterfeit pills and thus will not be filing criminal charges, reports the AP. "There is no reliable evidence showing how Prince obtained the counterfeit Vicodin containing fentaynl," said Carver County Attorney Mark Metz, per the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Nor is it clear whether Prince or any of his associates even knew he was taking fentanyl. "The bottom line is that we simply do not have sufficient evidence to charge anyone with a crime related to Prince's death," says Metz.

That won't change unless new evidence or witnesses emerge, and a separate federal investigation into Prince's death is now similarly inactive. Just before the announcement, authorities said that Prince's doctor agreed to pay a $30,000 settlement in a separate allegation—that he prescribed painkillers in the name of Prince's bodyguard knowing they would be used by the entertainer himself. Dr. Michael Todd Schulenberg allegedly wrote the prescription for oxycodone under a false name to protect the singer's privacy, though his attorney disputed that assertion again Thursday and said her client settled to avoid legal costs and an uncertain outcome. (Prince's estate remains in limbo.)

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