Painkiller prescribed for Prince in another name

It's been almost a year since Prince died from an accidental drug overdose in his suburban Minneapolis studio and estate, yet investigators still haven't interviewed a key associate or asked a grand jury to consider whether criminal charges are warranted, according to an official with knowledge of the investigation.

Prince, 57, was found dead at the complex on April 21, 2016. His death shocked fans and led to tributes worldwide.

The documents also show the extent to which detectives went to track down the source of the synthetic fentanyl that an autopsy determined was the drug that killed Prince.

In this February 4, 2007, file photo, Prince performs during the halftime show at the Super Bowl XLI football game in Miami.

Investigators also said Prince got painkillers through other people. Some were counterfeit. At least one counterfeit pill tested positive for fentanyl. Yet authorities still don't know the origin of those drugs and there has been no indication that they are poised to hold anyone responsible anytime soon.

FILE - In this June 1, 2006, file photo, drummer Kirk Johnson speaks at a news conference during the first rehearsal by members of the new band The Truth in Minneapolis.

Six witnesses at the scene told investigators that Prince "had a history of going through withdrawals, which are believed to be the result of the abuse of prescription medication", according to an affidavit.

Investigators spoke with one of Prince's previous bodyguards who said the singer was very untrusting of cell phones, after his cell phone was hacked and his personal information was stolen.

Johnson's attorney, F. Clayton Tyler, confirmed that his client hasn't been subpoenaed.

Johnson declined to talk to the AP. "Right here. It's never gonna be unlocked".

Most the medications found were prescribed under Prince's assistant's name, Kirk Johnson, one of his longtime friends.

Messages left with attorneys for Schulenberg and Johnson weren't immediately returned Monday. "He didn't like me to cry, so I don't want them to cry either".

Andrew Kornfeld admitted to investigators that he was not a licensed doctor and did not have the authority to administer them. He said his father was unaware that he had brought the drugs.

Laws against prescribing with a false name are not usually enforced when a doctor intends to protect a celebrity's privacy, said Los Angeles attorney Ellyn Garofalo. And, experts say, prosecutors and investigators don't want to lose a high-profile case such as Prince's - likely increasing their caution.

According to a search warrant, Schulenberg told authorities he saw Prince on April 7 and April 20, and prescribed medications for Prince to be picked up at a Walgreen's pharmacy. "Many of those areas where the pills were located would be places Prince would frequent, such as his bedroom and wardrobe/laundry room". Authorities haven't yet charged anyone in the case. A common problem is that evidence gets destroyed by first responders focused on saving a life.

The search warrants and affidavits show which drugs were recovered from Paisley Park, which drugs Prince may have been using, where he got them from, and who he got them from.

Authorities also searched Johnson's cellphone records, to see who he was communicating with in the month before Prince died.

  • Salvatore Jensen