When blues legend B.B. King passed away on May 14, he had been in hospice care. But two of his surviving 11 children seem to think that their 89-year-old father died as a result of poisoning.
His daughters, Karen Williams and Patty King, accused LaVerne Toney and personal assistant Myron Johnson of killing King. Williams and King said, “I believe my father was poisoned and that he was administered foreign substances. I believe my father was murdered,” according to court documents released to Associated Press.
According to Patty King’s affidavit, King witnessed Toney putting two drops of an unknown substance on B.B. King’s tongue at night in the months before his death. Toney never informed the family what was in the substance. B.B. King gave Toney power of attorney years ago, as reported by AP.
There was not an investigation at the time of King’s death, and the attending physician said it was multi-infarct dementia, which is caused by a series of small strokes, that caused his death. His daughters claim that his associates gave King medication that induced diabetic shock.
Brent Bryson, who is an attorney for B.B. King’s estate, denied Patty King and Karen Williams’ accusations to AP. He called the accusations “ridiculous” and “disrespectful” and said they were “all about money,” according to CNN.
Bryson said that three doctors confirmed King was properly taken care of in the weeks leading to his death. He reportedly received 24-hour monitoring and care up.
Bryson added that he hoped the women had a “factual basis that they can demonstrate for their defamatory and libelous allegations,” as reported by Rolling Stone. Though Toney has not made a formal comment, he did say that the girls have been making accusations all along. “What’s new?” Toney said.
Additionally, one of his other daughters, Shirley King, said that Toney had kept the children from seeing their father before his death. Another daughter, Rita King, confirmed Shirley’s claim. Three of his daughters attempted to get his power of attorney over King removed.
Police in Nevada are looking into the daughters’ claims. The Las Vegas Police Department and the Clark County Coroner’s office said that the investigation could take up to six or eight weeks.
The Clark County’s coroner John Fudenberg told CNN that the initial autopsy discovered “no evidence to substantiate the allegations.” King’s body was moved from the mortuary to the coroner’s office Sunday to be examined. The full reports are supposed to be in in six to eight weeks.
There was a public viewing held for King Saturday. There is also a procession and memorial scheduled for Wednesday in Memphis on Beale Street, and a memorial service will be held in King’s hometown Indianola, Mississippi on Friday.