LOS ANGELES — Michael Jackson's personal doctor administered a powerful anesthetic to help him sleep, and authorities believe the drug is what killed the pop singer, a law enforcement official told the Associated Press on Monday.
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing, said Jackson regularly received propofol to sleep, a practice far outside the drug's intended purpose. On June 25, the day Jackson died, Dr. Conrad Murray gave him the drug some time after midnight, the official said.
Though toxicology reports are pending, investigators are working under the theory that propofol caused Jackson's heart to stop, the official said.
Murray, 51, has been identified in court papers as the subject of a manslaughter investigation, and authorities last week raided his office and a storage unit in Houston. Police say Murray is cooperating and have not labeled him a suspect.
Murray's lawyer, Edward Chernoff, has said the doctor "didn't prescribe or administer anything that should have killed Michael Jackson."
Murray became Jackson's personal physician in May. He was staying with Jackson in Los Angeles and, according to Chernoff, could not revive Jackson, whom he found unconscious the morning of June 25.
Jackson had trouble sleeping, and the official said he enlisted various doctors to administer propofol, relying on the drug like an alarm clock. He would decide what time he wanted to awaken, and at the appointed hour, a doctor would stop the intravenous drip that delivered the drug, the official said.