Judge orders partial release of Prince death investigation documents to heirs

- A judge has ordered the partial release of some of the documents in Prince’s death investigation to his siblings. At a Carver County court hearing Wednesday, the judge ruled to allow Prince’s heirs and their lawyers to view the documents related to his drug overdose in Moline, Illinois days before his fatal overdose at Paisley Park.

The family and their attorneys will only be able to view the documents in the Carver County sheriff’s office and will not be allowed to make copies, the judge ordered. 

In court, Carver County Attorney Mark Metz, said the order with heirs of the Prince estate achieves a “balance between the confidentiality of the criminal investigation, and their ability to assess the possibility for a lawsuit.” Metz said the release of documents would be “limited to reports pertaining to the incident in Illinois.”

Outside the courtroom, Metz said a decision about criminal charges will come in the “near future,” but he declined to be more specific. He also would not comment on the leak of toxicology results to the Associated Press this week.  

Last week, an the Anoka County judge ordered the release of the full autopsy report to lawyers representing Prince's heirs. Lawyers representing Prince's siblings sought the release of the autopsy to "explore the possibility of a potential civil wrongful death lawsuit" before the statute of limitations expires. The toxicology report from Prince's autopsy obtained by The Associated Press showed he had an "exceedingly high" concentration of fentanyl in his body when he died.

MOLINE OVERDOSE

Fire and ambulance records released on April 27, 2016 by the City of Moline indicate Prince’s bodyguard carried him unconscious off of his private jet after it made an emergency landing six days before he died at Paisley Park.

The heavily redacted document, which has very little detail about the response, says emergency personnel responded to a call of an “unresponsive passenger” and arrived on April 15 at 1:24 a.m. at the Quad City International Airport taxiway. They cleared the scene by 2:16 a.m. Details about his treatment were not released.

The document stated: "T12 arrived first and began pt care pt was carried down from airplane by pts body guard. T12 drove A13 to hospital."

Prince’s jet was traveling to Minneapolis after he finished playing two concerts in one night in Atlanta.

DEATH AT PAISLEY PARK

Prince was found alone and unresponsive in an elevator at his Paisley Park estate on April 21, 2016. Public data released six weeks after his death showed he died of an accidental overdose of fentanyl, a synthetic opioid 50 times more powerful than heroin. A toxicology report recently obtained by the Associated Press revealed the 57-year-old had an “exceedingly high” concentration of fentanyl in his body when he died. 

TIME RUNNING OUT FOR WRONGFUL DEATH LAWSUIT

Prince’s siblings want Carver County law enforcement officials to release certain investigative reports in order to determine whether to file a wrongful death lawsuit. The family has up to two years from the date of his death to file a lawsuit.

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