BB King was poisoned, but coroner John Fudenberg said there was no immediate evidence to support the allegations.
Two of King’s daughters claim the guitarist was poisoned and not properly cared for before his death at age 89 on 14 May, and accused his aides of past elder abuse.
Police say they will wait for the autopsy results from the
coroner’s office before determining whether to initiate a homicide
“Until such time as the Clark County Coroner determines Mr
King’s death to be from other than natural causes, the Las Vegas
metropolitan police department is NOT moving forward with any
investigation,” the police public information office said in a statement
emailed to the Guardian.
“At this point, we don’t have evidence that these
allegations of foul play will be substantiated,” said Fudenberg in a
statement. “However, we are taking them very seriously and will be
conducting a thorough investigation.”
The new allegations appear to be part of a long-running feud
between King’s 11 surviving children and his long-time attorney,
LaVerne Toney, who has power of attorney over his estate.
Family members have claimed that Toney has control of over
$5m in assets, $1m of which has allegedly disappeared recently.
Authorities have repeatedly rejected the family’s claims however, most
recently finding in May that King did not need a guardianship as he
already had an attorney, the Associated Press reported.
The Clark County coroner conducted an autopsy on King’s body
on Sunday, and is coordinating with the Las Vegas metropolitan police
homicide division. The coroner expects that it will take six to eight
weeks to receive laboratory results from the autopsy.
daughters Karen Williams and Patty King lodged the poisoning complaints
in identically worded affidavits given to the Associated Press by their
attorney, Larissa Drohobyczer.
Both said they believed that King was “murdered” and was
administered “foreign substances”, but three doctors have reportedly
asserted that King was properly cared for in the days leading up to his
death, when he received round-the-clock health monitoring. King died on
14 May with aide Myron Johnson at his bedside.
Both he and LaVerne Johnson have dismissed King’s daughters’ allegations, refusing to comment to the AP.
“They’ve been making allegations all along. What’s new?” Toney said.
King received hospice care at home, wishing to avoid invasive medical care, according to attorney Brent Bryson. He criticized the decision to conduct an autopsy on King’s body.
“He made the decision to return home for hospice care instead of staying in a hospital,” Bryson told the Hollywood Reporter. “These unfounded allegations have caused Mr King to undergo an autopsy, which is exactly what he didn’t want.”
In both October and April, Nevada
police and social services investigated whether Toney should be removed
as King’s guardian, Clark County family court hearing master Jon
Norheim said in May, but found no reason to revoke guardianship. Toney
worked with King for 39 years.
More than 1,000 people attended a public viewing of King’s
body in Las Vegas last week. A procession on Beale Street in Memphis,
Tennessee, is scheduled for Wednesday, with a viewing on Friday and
burial Saturday in Mississippi, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Born Riley B King in the Mississippi delta
on a cotton plantation, BB King spent his early 20s in Memphis,
Tennessee, where he moved to pursue a career playing the blues.
He is largely credited with bringing blues to mainstream
rock and roll, and was often called “king of the blues” and “ambassador
of the blues”. King’s style, known predominantly for one-note guitar
solos, was especially influential of rock of the 1960s and 1970s.
King performed between 200 and 300 road shows per year even
into his 70s. He started his career touring on what was called the
“chitlin’ circuit” of small bars in the Jim Crow south (“chitlin’” or chitterling refers to the soul food dish made of the small intestines of pigs, often sold at the clubs).
Full Article & Source:
BB King: coroner says there is no immediate evidence of poisoning
Guardianship for Blues Great BB King Rejected