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Prince's Death: Doctor Will Be Fined For Opioid Prescription, But No Charges
“We simply do not have sufficient evidence to charge anyone," Carver County Attorney Mark Metz said.
The Minnesota doctor who allegedly prescribed painkillers a week before Prince's death will be fined for a federal civil violation, but the investigation into the pop icon's overdose will end with no charges, officials said Thursday.
Carver County Attorney Mark Metz announced the end of the Prince probe two days before the second anniversary of the "Purple Rain" singer's death.
“The bottom line is that we simply do not have sufficient evidence to charge anyone with a crime related to Prince’s death,” Metz said in a press conference, noting that the investigation could be reopened if new evidence was presented.
He said there is no doubt that the actions of the people around Prince will be still criticized. But “suspicions and innuendo are categorically inefficient to support any criminal charges," he said.
About 90 minutes before Metz's announcement, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Minnesota announced it reached a $30,000 civil settlement with Dr. Michael Todd Schulenberg, who is accused of prescribing Prince a powerful opioid in April 2016 under the name of Kirk Johnson, Prince's friend and former drummer. As part of the settlement, Schulenberg will also be monitored by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration for two years.
Police do not suspect Schulenberg provided the fentanyl that led to Prince's demise at his Paisley Park complex outside of Minneapolis. It's still unclear where the drug came from.
"There is no reliable evidence showing how Prince got [fentanyl] or who else had a role in delivering it to him," Metz said at Thursday's press conference.
Amy Conners, an attorney for Schulenberg, said the doctor didn’t prescribe painkillers expecting Prince would consume them.
"After (Schulenberg) learned of Prince's addiction, he immediately worked to refer Prince to a treatment facility and to transfer care to a chemical dependency specialist," Conners said in a statement.
But the U.S. Attorney’s Office said Schulenberg wrote the prescription for Johnson "knowing that the controlled substances were intended to be used by another individual."
Eleven days before his death, Prince passed out on an airplane and had to be revived by a drug that counters the effects of an opioid overdoses.
[Photo: Getty Images]