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The Latest: Prosecutor: Prince didn’t know pills counterfeit

ABC Entertainment:

The Latest on the investigation into Prince’s death (all times local):

Noon

A Minnesota prosecutor says Prince thought he was taking Vicodin when he accidentally overdosed on fentanyl.

Carver County Attorney Mark Metz detailed a two-year investigation that he said found no evidence to warrant criminal charges being filed in the pop superstar’s death.

Prince died April 21, 2016, at his Paisley Park compound.

Metz says evidence showed that Prince took counterfeit Vicodin without knowing it. And Metz says there’s no evidence any of the people surrounding Prince gave him counterfeit Vicodin or knew he had it.

A doctor who was accused of illegally prescribing a pain medication to Prince shortly before he died agreed Thursday to pay a fine as part of a civil settlement. But that pain medication wasn’t what killed Prince.

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11:35 p.m.

The prosecutor in the Minnesota county where Prince died says he’s filing no criminal charges in the musician’s death.

The announcement Thursday from Carver County Attorney Mark Metz means the state’s investigation into how Prince got the fentanyl that killed him is closed. It came hours after documents revealed a doctor accused of illegally prescribing an opioid for Prince had agreed to pay $30,000 to settle a federal civil violation.

Metz said the evidence shows Prince thought he was taking Vicodin, not fentanyl. He said there’s no evidence any person associated with Prince knew he possessed any counterfeit pill containing fentanyl.

Prince was 57 when he was found alone and unresponsive in an elevator at his Paisley Park estate on April 21, 2016.

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11:25 a.m.

A newly unsealed federal search warrant says a Minnesota doctor who treated Prince in the weeks before he died expressed concern that the musician was suffering from opiate withdrawal.

The document unsealed Thursday says Dr. Michael Todd Schulenberg saw Prince on April 7, 2016, at the request of Prince’s friend, Kirk Johnson, and prescribed Vitamin D and ondansetron under Johnson’s name.

The document says Johnson called the doctor on April 14 and asked him to prescribe a pain medication for Prince. Authorities say Schulenberg prescribed oxycodone for Prince, again under Johnson’s name. Schulenberg disputes that, but is paying $30,000 to settle a civil violation.

The doctor also saw Prince on April 20 when Prince was reporting feeling antsy. A urinalysis tested positive for opioids.

Prince was found dead of a fentanyl overdose the next day. The doctor is not facing criminal charges and his attorney says he had no role in Prince’s death.

———

10:25 a.m.

An attorney for a Minnesota doctor accused of illegally prescribing an opioid painkiller for Prince a week before the musician died from a fentanyl overdose denies the allegation but says he agreed to pay $30,000 to settle a federal civil violation to avoid the expense and risk of litigation.

Dr. Michael Todd Schulenberg was accused of prescribing oxycodone to Prince and putting it under the name of Prince’s bodyguard and close friend, Kirk Johnson, to protect Prince’s privacy.

But attorney Amy Conners says in a statement that Schulenberg affirms his previous statement that he did not prescribe opiates to any patient with the intention that they be given to Prince.

She says that after the doctor learned of Prince’s addiction, he immediately began working to get him into treatment

———

10 a.m.

A Minnesota doctor accused of illegally prescribing an opioid for Prince a week before the musician died has agreed to pay $30,000 to settle a federal civil claim.

The settlement comes as state prosecutors are planning to announce whether anyone will be charged in the two-year investigation into Prince’s death.

Prince died on April 21, 2016, from an accidental overdose of fentanyl, a synthetic opioid. No one has been criminally charged.

But the federal government alleges that Dr. Michael Todd Schulenberg violated the Controlled Substances Act when he wrote a prescription in someone else’s name on April 14, 2016.

The settlement released Thursday doesn’t name Prince, but search warrants previously released say Schulenberg wrote a prescription for oxycodone in the name of Prince’s bodyguard, intending it to go to Prince.

———

12 a.m.

A two-year probe into the overdose death of music superstar Prince is reaching a critical stage as a county prosecutor reveals whether criminal charges will be filed.

Carver County Attorney Mark Metz planned a news conference Thursday morning to give an update on the investigation. It is scheduled for 11:30 a.m.

Prince died April 21, 2016, after being found alone and unresponsive in an elevator at his home and recording studio in a Minneapolis suburb. An autopsy showed he died of an accidental fentanyl overdose.

Prince’s death at 57 sparked a national outpouring of grief, as well as a joint county and federal investigation.

Source:ABC Entertainment

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