Why is Michael Jackson Investigation Taking So Long?

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It's been almost two months since Michael Jackson passed away June 25, and what once looked like an open-and-shut case has sparked a massive investigation.

What is taking so long? Many things, some deeply intertwined and confusing.

If the singer's autopsy report reveals other drugs besides the anesthesia Propofol, prosecutors will have a harder time building a case against Dr. Conrad Murray.

As Jackson's personal physician, Murray is believed to have given Propofol to Michael on what was his final morning. But it could be a difficult case to argue he killed Jackson if the star were addicted to other prescription drugs.

Reports say police found Propofol an Xanax in Jackson's autopsy.

"You have to show that the doctor knew about all of these other doctors prescribing other drugs," says one Los Angeles deputy D.A. "It's a classic problem."

Picture of Michael Jackson

Dr. Conrad Murray, who reportedly admitted to police that he gave Jackson the hospital anesthetic in the hours before his death, has not been charged with any crime, and through his attorney he has maintained his innocence.

But search warrants served on Murray for his offices and storage facilities in Nevada and Texas indicate he's the target of a manslaughter investigation.

Many anesthesiologists say it is negligent and unusual for a doctor to administer Propofol in a home setting and not in a hospital, and without proper monitoring.

Legal experts think that fact alone not be enough to prosecute Murray.

Prosecutors do have options.

If they determine that Murray and at least one other doctor conspired to prescribe drugs under fake names, they can charge doctors in a similar fashion to the two doctors in the Anna Nicole Smith case.

Smith died in 2007, and a two-year investigation resulted in Drs. Sandeep Kapoor and Khristine Eroshevich being charged with multiple felony counts of conspiring to prescribe dangerous narcotics to an addict using fraudulent means.

That may turn out to be an easier charge to prove under some circumstances than manslaughter, or the murder charge some believe Murray could face.

Investigators also could ask federal prosecutors to indict Murray, and possibly other doctors, for improperly transporting the drugs across state lines.

Warrants for a Las Vegas pharmacy where Murray apparently obtained the Propofol say authorities were looking to track shipments related to "the purchase, transfer, receiving, ordering, delivery and storage of Propofol to Dr. Conrad Murray."

But, it could be a tall order, because if Dr. Conrad Murray is charged with manslaughter, prosecutors "will have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that (Dr. Murray) knew everything about what drugs Jackson was taking and his whole medical history."

For now, there's no need to rush, police say. There's an eight-year statute of limitations. By dragging it out, a side benefit may be diminished media scrutiny, as well as more time to interview more witnesses and consider the options.

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Michael Jackson Biography

Michael Jackson mug shot
Michael Jackson was the King of Pop, with the best-selling album of all-time and more than a dozen massive hits. After years of physical... More »
Gary, Indiana
Full Name
Michael Joseph Jackson