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The Opioid Crisis

Prince death: Fury over lack of charges over star’s fatal overdose

Prince's cousin Charles Smith (pictured) joined scores of fans who gathered at Paisley Park to remember Prince on the second anniversary of his death.

Prince’s family and fans expressed their disappointment after prosecutors announced this week that no one would face charges in his fatal accidental overdose.

The singer’s cousin Charles Smith joined many fans who gathered at Paisley Park to remember Prince on the second anniversary of his death.

While the tone was mostly celebratory in honor of the Purple Rain singer, there was an undercurrent of anger that emerged after authorities announced that after a two-year investigation, no one would be held accountable for Prince’s tragic death.

Prince's cousin Charles Smith (pictured) joined scores of fans who gathered at Paisley Park to remember Prince on the second anniversary of his death.

Prince’s cousin Charles Smith (pictured) joined scores of fans who gathered at Paisley Park to remember Prince on the second anniversary of his death.

While the tone was mostly celebratory in honor of the Purple Rain singer, there was an undercurrent of anger that followed authorities announcing that no one would be held accountable for Prince's tragic death after a two-year investigation.

While the tone was mostly celebratory in honor of the Purple Rain singer, there was an undercurrent of anger that followed authorities announcing that no one would be held accountable for Prince’s tragic death after a two-year investigation.

Smith told CBS that the prosecutor’s decision not to press charges hit his family hard.

“I knew I wasn’t going to be happy about it because Prince doesn’t come here,” he said, adding that he still has “nothing but respect” for law enforcement for their thorough investigation.

But he added that he will not stop looking for answers.

“I’ll find out what happened until I’m satisfied. I don’t care what anybody thinks, I just want to be happy,” Smith said.

Some of Prince’s fans were also outraged by the decision.

Kimberlee Andrus, 39, of Austin, Minnesota, attended a news conference Thursday where Carver County Attorney Mark Metz made the announcement.

Some fans said they were just glad the investigation was over.

Some fans said they were just glad the investigation was over. “It’s completely gone and we can enjoy his music in peace,” said Rebecca Taylor (pictured).

The prosecutor said investigators were unable to determine who supplied the counterfeit opioid drugs that killed Prince.

Andrus, who was wearing a purple jumper and has a tattoo of Prince’s love symbol, described the announcement as “devastating”.

“Somebody should be held accountable for the benefits and what they were getting,” Andrus said. “I feel devastated, nothing will be done.”

She added that Prince deserves the truth to come out and she doesn’t think it will.

Andrus is one of many fans who plan to attend a candlelight vigil Friday night outside Paisley Park, Prince’s former residence, where he was found dead on April 21, 2016.

Prince (pictured in 2009 in Paris) was found dead after an accidental drug overdose at his home

Prince (pictured in 2009 in Paris) was found dead after an accidental drug overdose at his home

Other fans said they were just glad the investigation was over.

“It’s completely gone and we can enjoy his music in peace,” said Rebecca Taylor.

Prince’s longtime musical collaborator Sheila E., who paid tribute to the singer at Thursday’s rally, said: ‘I don’t want to be sad anymore.’

“And I’m not sad anymore. These are tears of joy.’

Sheila E. launched a four-day festival in Prince’s honor that will include a fDeluxe concert, lectures and Friday’s “Prince: Live on the Big Screen” event.

The event took place on the same day that the state of Minnesota closed its investigation into Prince’s death without criminal charges.

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The 57-year-old singer’s death was ruled an accident and the only cause listed in the medical examiner’s report was “fentanyl toxicity.”

Federal authorities also said they had not obtained any credible evidence to support the charges.

Carver County Attorney Mark Metz, right, announces that no criminal charges will be filed in the 2016 death of musician Prince at a news conference Thursday, April 19, 2018, in Chaska, Minn.

Carver County Attorney Mark Metz, right, announces that no criminal charges will be filed in the 2016 death of musician Prince at a news conference Thursday, April 19, 2018, in Chaska, Minn.

Carver County District Attorney Mark Metz announced Thursday that investigators have found no evidence to incriminate anyone in the case.

Dr. Michael Todd Schulenberg, who is accused of illegally prescribing an opioid painkiller for Prince just a week before the musician died, has agreed to pay $30,000 to settle a federal civil violation.

Dr. Michael Todd Schulenberg, who agreed to pay $30,000 to settle a federal civil violation over Prince's death, is seen in an undated file photo.

Dr. Michael Todd Schulenberg, who agreed to pay $30,000 to settle a federal civil violation over Prince’s death, is seen in an undated file photo.

“The bottom line is that we just don’t have enough evidence to charge anyone with a crime related to Prince’s death,” Mark Metz, the attorney for Carver County, where Prince’s Paisley Park is located, told reporters.

Others who cared for the singer are still waiting to see if prosecutors will file any criminal charges after a two-year investigation into Prince’s death.

“An active criminal charge requires probable cause and a reasonable likelihood of conviction. The bottom line is that we simply do not have sufficient evidence to charge anyone with a crime related to Prince’s death,” Mark Metz, Carver County attorney, said Thursday.

He says Prince thought he was taking Vicodin pills, not the fentanyl that killed him, and there is no evidence that anyone at Prince knew the pills were fake.

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Following Metz’s announcement, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Minneapolis issued a statement saying it had received no credible evidence to support federal criminal charges. The office said it would not comment further.

A law enforcement official close to the investigation told The Associated Press that the federal investigation is now inactive unless new information emerges. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the case remains open.

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