Jackson's Father Claims "Foul Play" in Singer's Death - NBC 7 San Diego

Jackson's Father Claims "Foul Play" in Singer's Death

Detectives move forward as they await official cause of death

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Jackson's Father Claims "Foul Play" in Singer's Death
    ASSOCIATED PRESS
    Joe Jackson, father of the late pop star Michael Jackson, arrives at the 9th Annual BET Awards on Sunday, June 28.

    The investigation into Michael Jackson's sudden death two weeks ago is morphing into a criminal probe as his body awaits a final decision by his bitterly divided family over its ultimate fate.

    "Jermaine is the one that wants him at Neverland -- he and Joseph -- because of the whole Elvis thing and the money potential," a family source told the New York Post. "They are seeing dollar signs."

    But the rest of the Jackson clan, including his mother Katherine, is said to be intent on respecting Michael's wish following his child molestation acquittal to never return to the sprawling California ranch.

    So Jackson's body sits in Motown founder Berry Gordy's Forest Lawn crypt as the discord festers.

    Meanwhile, a source close to the Jacksons said the singer's family has been told a criminal investigation of Jackson's many doctors could begin soon.

    "The family is aware of a potential criminal prosecution," the source, who did not want to be identified, told CNN.

    The statement comes on the heels of an announcement by Los Angeles detectives saying they are looking at his prescription drug history and trying to talk with his numerous former doctors -- and as Jackson's father, Joe, raised the spector of "foul play" being involved in the singer's death.

    Joe Jackson made the statement in an interview with ABC News but did not elaborate on the sentiment.

    LAPD Chief William Bratton told CNN that police are awaiting the coroner's report before ruling out any possibilities in their "comprehensive and far-reaching" investigation into the sudden death of the 50-year-old pop star.

    The coroner's report will determine the cause of death, but that call hinges on time-consuming toxicology tests.

    "Based on those we'll have an idea of what we're dealing with," Bratton said. "Are we dealing with homicide? Are we dealing with an accidental overdose? What are we dealing with?"

    Bratton said detectives are gathering evidence, including items seized from Jackson's rented home, and arranging interviews with his many physicians.

    The Drug Enforcement Administration and the state attorney general's office, which keeps a database of prescription drugs, are assisting investigators.

    An attorney for Dr. Arnold Klein, one of Jackson's many physicians, told the Los Angeles Times that the dermatologist was subpoenaed for medical records, which he turned over to the county coroner's office.

    Bratton refused to discuss details of the case.

    "We've got very good investigators. They will be prepared to deal with whatever the coroner's findings may be," Bratton said.

    Jackson, who died June 25, had a history of using prescription medications, especially painkillers. Following his death, Cherilyn Lee, a registered nurse who had worked for Jackson, told The Associated Press she repeatedly rejected his demands for the potent anesthetic Diprivan, also known as Propofol.

    Police towed a doctor's car from Jackson's home hours after he died and said later it could contain medication or other evidence. Coroner's officials also said Jackson was taking prescription medication but declined to elaborate.