Doctor not a suspect in Michael Jackson death

Sun Jun 28, 2009 5:07pm EDT
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By Mary Milliken and Alex Dobuzinskis

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Los Angeles police investigating Michael Jackson's sudden death said on Sunday they do not consider his doctor a suspect despite having questioned him about his presence at the time of the pop idol's fatal cardiac arrest.

The Jackson family had yet to announce funeral arrangements for the 50-year-old King of Pop. But a family friend told Reuters that a service could be held on Wednesday and that the family wanted to bury Jackson at his famous Neverland Ranch.

The death of one of the most gifted musical performers of his generation prompted tributes and condolences, from U.S. President Barack Obama to legions of fans in Hollywood. Top performers were set to honor Jackson at the BET Awards in Los Angeles on Sunday.

It was still unclear what, if any, role Jackson's prescription medicines might have played in his sudden death on Thursday. The family carried out its own autopsy on Saturday after the Los Angeles Coroner said it would need four to six more weeks to determine the exact cause of death.

Late on Saturday, police interviewed cardiologist Dr. Conrad Murray in a second meeting that lasted three hours. The doctor was hired ahead of Jackson's comeback concert series in London this month.

"He was interviewed as a person of interest, not a suspect," Officer Norma Eisenman, a Los Angeles Police spokeswoman, told Reuters.

A police statement added that "Dr. Murray was cooperative and provided information that will aid the investigation."

According to media reports and a family friend, Jackson was injected with the narcotic painkiller Demerol before he went into cardiac arrest, and Murray was trying to revive him when paramedics arrived.   Continued...

<p>Michael Jackson is honored on a marquee at the Los Angeles Theater in California, June 27, 2009. REUTERS/Joshua Lott</p>