LOS ANGELES – Armed with a search warrant indicating Michael Jackson’s death is being investigated as possible manslaughter, a team of Los Angeles police detectives and federal drug agents swooped into the Houston medical clinic operated by the pop star’s personal physician Wednesday and seized documents and computer files.
The warrant signed by a Harris County District Court judge and executed on the offices of Dr. Conrad Murray was the strongest indication yet that authorities are considering serious criminal charges in the performer’s sudden death June 25.
“The search warrant authorized law enforcement to search for and seize items, including documents, they believed constituted evidence of the offense of manslaughter,” said the doctor’s lawyer, Edward Chernoff, in a statement.
The search of the office was the fourth warrant served in a month-long investigation that has included interviews with 40 witnesses.
Murray, whose main practice and residence are in Las Vegas, was not present for the 3 1/2-hour search by officers from the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Los Angeles Police Department’s Robbery-Homicide Unit and the Houston Police Department.
A DEA official who spoke on the condition of anonymity said the warrant mentioned the anesthetic propofol. Police removed large quantities of the powerful, operating-room drug from Jackson’s rented home and DEA agents have been working with the manufacturer to trace the source of the drug.
Propofol was not found in Murray’s office, a source familiar with the search said.