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Brown, now California governor, touted the CURES program as attorney general and, in addition to Haim, launched high-profile investigations into the deaths of Michael Jackson and Anna Nicole Smith.

In the Smith case, charges eventually were filed against two doctors and her boyfriend-lawyer in connection with her death after the database showed the former Playboy Playmate was receiving a myriad of prescription drugs. A jury acquitted the trio of most to all of the felony counts and a judge dismissed two convictions, while reducing one to a misdemeanor.

Jackson’s personal physician was convicted of causing the singer’s June 2009 death by giving him a powerful anesthetic as a sleep aid, although investigators determined there was no criminal wrongdoing by seven other doctors who treated the singer.

Houston, a sensation from her first, eponymous album in 1985, was one of the world’s best-selling artists from the mid-1980s to the late 1990s, turning out such hits as “I Wanna Dance With Somebody,” `’How Will I Know,” `’The Greatest Love of All” and “I Will Always Love You.” But as she struggled with drugs, her majestic voice became raspy, and she couldn’t hit the high notes anymore.

Only after the weeks-long investigation into her death is complete and a full autopsy report is released will the impact of drugs on the singer’s body become known. Officials have cautioned against speculating too much about what killed the singer and downplayed the role prescription meds may have played in her case.

“There weren’t a lot of prescription bottles,” Winter, the coroner’s official, said earlier this week. “You probably have just as many prescription bottles in your medicine cabinet.”


Associated Press Writers Alicia Chang and Greg Risling contributed to this report.


Anthony McCartney can be reached at Follow Chang’s coverage at