By LINDA DEUTSCH and THOMAS WATKINS, AP
LOS ANGELES — The investigation of Michael Jackson's death is widening as questions intensify about the drugs he took, the doctors who provided them and the actions of police.
Why didn't police seal the mansion where he had been living? Why were moving vans seen at the home, and were any items removed before police wrapped up their search? Why didn't they get immediate search warrants?
Why did they tow away a doctor's car right after the death but not declare the home a crime scene?
Others say police should have assumed it was possible a crime occurred and taken precautions to ensure the scene was not disrupted so evidence wasn't lost or tainted.
"If I was the chief detective on the case, I would have said, 'We don't know what's going on. We should seal the scene,'" said defense attorney Harland Braun, who has represented celebrities including Robert Blake, Roseanne and Gary Busey. "You always have to think of the worst-case scenario and you have to think fast. I would have sealed the scene just because it was Michael Jackson."
It's still not known what caused
An autopsy was conducted but results are not
expected for several weeks. The
On Wednesday, The Associated Press learned
DEA agents participated in the investigation of the
2007 overdose death of Anna Nicole Smith at a
Brown handed the investigation over to the
Brown said the suspects broke the law because Smith was a "known addict." The former boyfriend and doctors denied the charges.
The DEA also probed whether painkillers found in actor Heath Ledger's system after his death last year were obtained illegally. Federal prosecutors did not charge anyone.
Jean Rosenbluth, a
Federal drug regulations include controls over whether and how frequently a doctor can write prescriptions over the phone, and DEA agents could be looking to see if these rules were broken, Rosenbluth said.
"You can't just get on the phone and continue to prescribe something for someone without having seen them for a long period of time," she said.
Uri Geller, a former
"When Michael asked for something, he got
it," Geller said in a telephone interview from his suburban
"I am not going to make any comments on the
investigation," Commander Patrick Gannon, the designated police spokesman
Any evidence would be turned over to the district attorney's office, which has final say on criminal charges.
One of the key questions is why it took four days
for police to issue a search warrant and remove medications from
Although the home wasn't declared a crime scene,
police did tow
Vernon J. Geberth, former commanding officer of the Bronx Homicide Task force in New York, said police should have known they were dealing with an extraordinary situation.
"If it's a high-profile person, you have to do more than you would do ordinarily," he said.
Still, Geberth, who now acts as a private forensic consultant, said he believes the LAPD acted appropriately.
"Having a doctor present altered the equation. It was not a homicide scene. It was an emergency medical scene," he said.
Police spokesman Lt. John Romero declined to comment when asked if the LAPD was reviewing its handling of the investigation.
Rosenbluth said if the case ends up as a criminal
prosecution, any defense attorney would seize on the LAPD's failure to
"If you can get even one juror think, I don't know, maybe somebody fiddled with the medicine before the police came in and collected it, that's reasonable doubt," she said. "All that the defense attorney needs is one juror."
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