Carver County Attorney Mark Metz, who has been involved in the investigation of Prince’s death in Minnesota, announced today that the singer died after accidentally overdosing on counterfeit painkillers. “The evidence suggests that Prince took counterfeit Vicodin, containing fentanyl,” Carver said in a press conference today, as reported by ABC News. “The counterfeit pills contain the potentially deadly opioid, fentanyl.” He went on to say that Vicodin pills found in Prince’s home, Paisley Park, tested positive for fentanyl, and added, “There is no evidence that Prince knowingly ingested fentanyl,” and there was also no evidence that, “any person associated with Prince knew Prince possessed any counterfeit pills containing fentanyl.”
With those findings, no criminal charges will be filed related to Prince’s death. But the doctor who prescribed him opioid painkillers a week before his death in April of 2016, Michael T.
Schulenberg, has agreed to settle the civil charges against him for writing an illegal prescription. As stated by U.S. Attorney Greg Brooker, “Dr. Schulenberg prescribed Schedule 2 controlled substances in the name of an individual knowing that the controlled substances were intended to be used by another individual.” That violation of the Controlled Substances Act will cost the doctor $30,000, and he will also be monitored by the Drug Enforcement Administration. Schulenberg admits no liability for Prince’s death, and according to court records, the settlement “is neither an admission of facts nor liability.”
The investigation was unable to determine who did provide Prince with the tainted drugs, and according to Metz, “In all likelihood Prince had no idea he was taking a counterfeit pill that could kill him.”