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Clinic of Michael Jackson's doctor raided

July 22, 2009 9:23:16 AM PDT
Authorities carried out two searches Wednesday in the investigation into Michael Jackson's death. Los Angeles County coroner's officials seized records from Jackson's former nutritionist Cherilyn Lee in Inglewood. Lee said she knew investigators were coming to obtain records related to her treatment of Jackson and she's happy to cooperate, but a subpoena was required because the records are protected by law.

Lee was Jackson's nutritionist from January until April of this year. She saw him at least twice a week, and says she never saw any sign of Jackson in poor health or any track marks on his body.

"His lab works were great. I mean, he was in good health," said Lee. "He was preparing for a concert, he wanted more energy and this is what we were working on, just nutrition to give him more energy."

However, Lee says Jackson did persistently ask her for the powerful anesthetic Diprovan to help him sleep. She says she refused and warned the pop singer about the extreme dangers of the drug.

Lee says she received a phone call four days before his death. She says she could hear Jackson in the background complaining that one side of his body was hot and the other was cold, which she says are symptoms consistent with Diprovan side effects.

"Diprovan would indeed affect the central nervous system, and you know, it also affects the respiratory, but we knew for a fact and we knew for a fact it would also affect the brain," said Lee.

Hours earlier, federal agents and Los Angeles police raided the Houston clinic of Jackson's doctor, seizing medical records ahead of a final autopsy report on the singer's death.

Dr. Conrad Murray is under investigation for possible manslaughter, according to Murray's lawyer Edward Chernoff.

A team of 10 DEA agents, two L.A. detectives and Houston uniformed officers carried out a search warrant at Armstrong Medical Clinic, where Murray has practiced, at 8:20 a.m. PT.

The warrant is sealed, but the DEA confirmed that Murray's name is on the search warrant.

According to Chernoff, the warrant authorized officers to search for and seize documents and other items they believed constituted evidence of the offense of manslaughter.

No patients were allowed inside, but employees were allowed entrance as investigators searched for hours for all Jackson medical records.

Murray was not at the clinic during the raid. He is believed to be at his Las Vegas offices.

Chernoff said agents left at about 1 p.m. with "a forensic image" of a computer hard drive and 21 documents.

The search of Murray's hard drive indicates authorities are also looking for e-mails either between the doctor and Jackson or orders for prescription drugs, according to a prominent L.A. defense attorney.

Law enforcement authorities told ABC News the warrant for the search was based on preliminary results of the autopsy made available to them which indicate Jackson's death was tied to the drug Propofol, a powerful anesthetic normally used only in hospital operating rooms.

Several vials were found in Jackson's Holmby Hills mansion, where Murray paid house calls.

Chernoff posted a statement on his law firm's Web site late Tuesday saying investigators from the Los Angeles County coroner's office have asked for medical records in addition to those already provided by Murray.

"The coroner wants to clear up the cause of death; we share that goal," Chernoff said in his statement. "Based on Dr. Murray's minute-by-minute and item-by-item description of Michael Jackson's last days, he should not be a target of criminal charges."

Murray has emerged as a central figure in the investigation into Jackson's death. The doctor, who had been recently hired by Jackson, was with him in his mansion and tried to revive him.

Although Chernoff has said the doctor didn't prescribe or administer any drugs that would have contributed to the 50-year-old's death. Murray has nonetheless received attention from those angry over the singer's passing. His attorney says he can't work and he's harassed so much that he requires a bodyguard.

Police detectives have already spoken to Murray twice -- once immediately after the singer's death and again two days later. Investigators say Murray is cooperating in their investigation.

A coroner's official said at least a half-dozen employees at the Los Angeles County coroner's office improperly viewed the star's death certificate. A coroner's captain sent an e-mail warning to the staff saying future abuses of the system may result in disciplinary action.

A cause of death has yet to be determined for the pop star. The coroner's office is expecting to release autopsy results next week.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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