April 18, 2018 / 7:55 PM / 7 months ago

UPDATE 1-Minnesota prosecutor to announce if charges will be filed in singer Prince's death

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By Eric Kelsey

April 18 (Reuters) - A Minnesota prosecutor will announce on Thursday whether anyone will be criminally charged in the death of pop star Prince, who died two years ago from an opioid overdose.

Carver County Attorney Mark Metz will hold a news conference at 11:30 a.m. CDT (1630 GMT) regarding his decision following a lengthy investigation, the Carver County Attorney’s office said in a statement on Wednesday.

Prince, 57, was found dead at his Paisley Park complex near Minneapolis on April 21, 2016. The official cause of death was a self-administered overdose of the painkiller fentanyl, but no prescriptions were found for the powerful drug that is 50 times stronger than heroin.

Police investigating Prince’s death found numerous opioids in the singer’s home, according to court documents released in April 2017. At that time, they had not identified who supplied the dose of fentanyl that caused his death or where it came from.

Authorities have been investigating the death of the “Purple Rain” singer for two years, terming it an “active homicide investigation,” according to affidavits and search warrants unsealed in 2017.

The probe included searches of Prince’s computer, his friends’ mobile phone records and interviews with associates, the documents said. Some of the painkillers found at the residence had prescriptions in the names of other people.

Investigators were told that the singer, whose legal name was Prince Rogers Nelson, had a history of going through withdrawals believed to be tied to prescription pain medication abuse, the unsealed documents showed.

Prince, known for his androgynous style and sexually charged songs, died a day before he was set to meet a California-based doctor who specializes in addiction treatment for a “life-saving mission.”

After his death, his longtime collaborator and protege Sheila E. told “Entertainment Tonight” that Prince had been suffering from hip and knee pain from decades of intense performing, much of it in heels.

Later in his life, the singer and composer of such hits as “When Doves Cry,” “Little Red Corvette” and “Raspberry Beret,” crafted a public image of living a clean and healthy vegan lifestyle.

Reporting by Eric Kelsey in Los Angeles; Editing by Cynthia Osterman and Peter Cooney

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