Houston clinic of Jackson's doctor raided

July 22, 2009 12:54:18 PM PDT
A lawyer for Michael Jackson's doctor says police who searched the physician's north Houston clinic were searching for evidence of manslaughter.A team of several dozen DEA agents, Los Angeles police detectives and Houston uniformed officers spent the morning carrying out a search warrant at the Houston office of Michael Jackson's doctor, Dr. Conrad Murray.

The police and federal agents arrived at approximately 10:20am and have swarmed inside the Armstrong Medical Clinic, where Dr. Murray has his office. Several marked Houston police cruisers are at the scene, as well as a couple of uniformed officers at the front door of the clinic. A couple of people have been let inside the business, but they left again after a few minutes.

Law enforcement authorities told ABC News the warrant for the search was based on preliminary results of the autopsy made available to them, which indicate Jackson's death was tied to the drug Propofol, a powerful anesthetic normally used only in hospital operating rooms.

Edward Chernoff, who represents the physician Conrad Murray, released the following statement at 1:30pm: "We can confirm that a search warrant was executed today on Dr. Murray's offices in Houston Texas. We reviewed the warrant and remained on the premises while the search was being executed. The search was conducted by members of the DEA, two Robbery -- Homicide detectives from the Los Angeles Police Department and Houston Police officers. The search warrant authorized law enforcement to search for and seize items, including documents, they believed constituted evidence of the offense of manslaughter. Law enforcement concluded their search around 12:30pm, and left with a forensic image of a business computer hard drive and 21 documents. None of the documents taken had previously been requested by law enforcement or the L.A. Coroner's office. "

Murray has emerged as a central figure in the investigation into Jackson's death. The doctor, who had been recently hired by Jackson, was with him in his mansion and tried to revive him.

Although Chernoff has said the doctor didn't give the pop star any drugs that contributed to his death, Murray has nonetheless received attention from those angry over the singer's death.

Police detectives have already spoken to Murray twice -- once immediately after the pop star's death and again two days later. Police investigators say Murray is cooperating in their investigation. Dr. Murray's immediate whereabouts are unknown.

Michael Jackson's cause of death has yet to be determined. The coroner's office is expecting to release autopsy results next week.

Chernoff's spokeswoman, Miranda Sevcik, said the interview with coroner's investigators might happen Friday. Murray is currently in Las Vegas, where he has a medical office, she said, and Chernoff would be speaking to investigators without the doctor being present.

ABC13 Eyewitness News is on the scene and will have more on this developing story here on abc13.com and later today on Eyewitness News.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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