MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — We will soon learn if anyone will face state charges related to the death of Prince — almost two years after the tragedy.
The Carver County Attorney’s office will announce the results of the years-long investigation Thursday.
Since authorities swarmed Paisley Park on April 21, 2016, a key part of the investigation has been to determine who supplied or obtained opioids for the music icon.
The 57-year-old was found unresponsive in his elevator. His death was later ruled as an accidental overdose of the opioid fentanyl.
Prescriptions seized at the singer’s home did not have his name on them.
“We as prosecutors look at actions, we don’t look at people,” said Anoka County Attorney Tony Palumbo. “Did someone do something or not do something when they were supposed to?”
Palumbo is not involved with the Prince case, but his office prosecutes cases like it. He said being able to prove where a drug came from that led to an overdose can be tenuous. That typically takes a third-degree murder charge off the table.
“If one of the elements of any potential crime would be that fentanyl was supplied and you’re not able to determine who supplied it, yes, that would be a real issue for a prosecutor going forward,” Palumbo said.
He said a prosecutor can look at lesser charges.
“If you can’t prove the most serious crime, you can take a look at through your list of other crimes that may be proven,” Palumbo said.
He expects Carver County Attorney Mark Metz will make a decision that is in the best interest of justice.
“Certainly they would have given it an extraordinary amount of time and dedication and professionalism to come up with a decision they believe is justified,” Palumbo said.
Metz will reveal his charging decision at 11:30 a.m. Thursday. Watch the Carver County attorney’s news conference live on TV or our Facebook page.