*Hours before Michael Jackson's death, his doctor administered multiple sedatives along with a powerful anesthetic the pop star used to sleep a law enforcement official tells the AP. It's a safe combination if done properly; potentiallylethal if not.
The official said the type of sedatives Dr. Conrad Murray gave Jackson were benzodiazepines, often used to calm patients before surgery. Murray told investigators the doses were within normal medical guidelines, said the official, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing.
Even at acceptable levels,benzodiazepines can intensify how the anesthetic propofol depresses breathing, so strict monitoring and careful dosing is required. The balance can be tricky, a slip-up disastrous.
Murray, who administered the drugs to Jackson in a room at the pop star's rented mansion, told investigators Jackson stopped breathing the morning of June 25 and he was unable to revive him. The doctor isthe central figure in what police term a manslaughter investigation, though authorities have not classified him a suspect.
In a written statement Thursday, Murray's lawyer, Ed Chernoff, dismissed as "ridiculous" the official's assertion that Murray gave Jackson multiple drugs.
"We are not going to be responding to any accusations from any unnamed sources," Chernoff said.
Asinvestigators build their case, a central issue is what drugs were in Jackson's system when he died. The official said preliminary toxicology tests detected the propofol, a drug normally used to render patients unconscious for medical procedures but that Jackson used as a sleep aid.
Further analysis will determine whether other drugs were present and in what quantity, allowing thecoroner to conclude whether they contributed to the death.
If a twice-delayed final toxicology report reveals an array of drugs, the answer to the simple question "What killed Michael Jackson?" will become a complex medical and legal dispute, especially if authorities can't prove Murray knew everything Jackson was taking. That would complicate any prosecution.
WRIGLEY DROPS CHRISBROWN: No more Doublemint commercials for singer following guilty plea to assault.
*Chewing gum makers Wrigley announced on Thursday it had ended an endorsement deal with Chris Brown, due to his guilty plea on charges of assaulting former girlfriend and pop star Rihanna.
Brown had been a spokesman for Doublemint gum and his hit song "Forever" was part of Wrigley's advertisingcampaign.
Following Brown's February arrest on suspicion of attacking Rihanna in Los Angeles on the eve of the Grammy Awards, Wrigley said it was "concerned"
by the allegations against him.
Maintaining that Brown, 20, deserved due legal process, Wrigley said at the time it was suspending its commercial featuring the singer until the matter was "resolved."
But with Brownpleading guilty in June to punching Rihanna until she was bloodied and bruised, Wrigley said on Thursday it had "ended" its deal with the singer.
Brown agreed in his plea to serve five years probation and perform 180 days of community service in his home state of Virginia.
Wrigley's disclosure came a day after a judge delayed a sentencing hearing for Brown to make sure hispunishment included physical labor such as road cleanup.
PAULA SAYS SHE'S GETTING LOTS OF OFFERS: Abdul in high demand now that 'Idol' is a done deal.
*Since announcing her exit from "American Idol," Paula Abdul says she is getting a lot of offers for new projects.
"At this point, there are so many wonderful things that are being offered to me," Abdul...