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No Criminal Charges To Be Filed In Prince’s Death, Doctor Agrees To Pay $30,000 Fine

April 19, 2018 | Posted by Joseph Lee
Prince

KTSB in Minnesota reports that there will be no charges filed in the death of prince, after a two-year investigation into the matter by Carver County, Minnesota police. Attorney Mark Metz made the announcement and stated that investigators were unable to find out who gave the Purple One the counterfeit form of Vicodin laced with fentanyl. Prince died of an accidental fentanyl overdose at Paisley Park in Chanhassen on April 21, 2016. He was found alone in an elevator and was unresponsive. According to the toxicology report, the fentanyl in his system was said to be “exceedingly high.”

Metz said that Prince may have thought he was taking Vicodin, when he was instead taking the altered drug. The pills were found in his dressing room in bottles of Aleve and Bayer. A single pill was found on his bed. The fentanyl in his blood was 67.8 micrograms per liter. Deaths from fentanyl overdose have happened in people with blood levels from 3 to 58 micrograms per liter. The level in his liver was 450 micrograms per kilogram, with liver concentrations over 69 micrograms per kilogram “seem to represent overdose or fatal toxicity cases.” His gastric fentanyl registered at 14,000, much higher than his 112-pound body could take.

Meanwhile, KSTP also reports that the doctor who met with Prince twice weeks before his death agreed to pay a $30,000 civil settlement for violating the Controlled Substances Act. Dr. Michael Todd Schulenberg, who serves as a family physician, worked at a clinic in Minnetonka, only a few miles from Paisley Park. He no longer works for the health care system connected to the clinic.

Police spoke with Schulenberg the day Prince died and searched the hospital for his medical records. The warrant stated that Schulenberg prescribed medicine to Prince before his death, but at the time it was unknown what they were. The DEA eventually ruled that Schulenberg prescribed “Schedule 2 controlled substances” on April 14, 2016. It said the doctor prescribed them “in the name of an individual, knowing that the controlled substances were intended to be used by another individual,” which violates the Controlled Substances Act.

US Attorney Greg Brooker said: “Doctors are trusted medical professionals and, in the midst of our opioid crisis, they must be part of the solution. As licensed professionals, doctors are held to a high level of accountability in their prescribing practices, especially when it comes to highly addictive painkillers. The U.S. Attorney’s Office and the DEA will not hesitate to take action against healthcare providers who fail to comply with the Controlled Substances Act. We are committed to using every available tool to stem the tide of opioid abuse.

Schulenberg has also agreed to maintain logs of all controlled substances that he prescribes for two years, which he will hand over to the DEA. He has to submit the logs every quarter and give the DEA access to his prescribing history with the state’s prescription monitoring program.

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Prince, Joseph Lee