B.B. King’s Death to Be Investigated as Homicide

by Guitar World Staff
Posted May 27, 2015 at 10:16am

The Nevada coroner’s office said Monday it will investigate B.B. King’s death as a homicide.

King died May 14 at age 89 in Las Vegas, where he lived. His daughters have expressed concerns that his death might be the result of foul play.

"Our coroner takes jurisdctn over #BBKing body, performs autopsy. Results:6-8wks min. Homicide investgtn w/ @LVMPD," the Clark County, Nevada coroner's office announced May 25 via Twitter.

Two of King’s daughters allege that his business manager, Laverne Toney, and King’s personal assistant, Myron Johnson, hastened their father’s death by poisoning him.

“I believe my father was poisoned and that he was administered foreign substances,” his daughters Patty King and Karen Williams said in identically worded sections of affidavits provided to the Associated Press by their lawyer, Larissa Drohobyczer. “I believe my father was murdered,” they say.

Patty King, Williams and another of King’s daughters, Rita Washington, sought control of King’s affairs in the weeks before his death. In that claim, they contended Toney stole $20 to $30 million from King along with watches and a ring and denied him his medications and medical care.

Those claims came within days of King’s hospitalization for a heart attack on April 30. According to Patty King, her father was not eating and was dehydrated, and Toney refused to take him to the hospital. Patty called the police, who sent paramedics to King’s residence, who agreed he needed medical attention.

A Las Vegas judge said he found no reason to believe King lacked the capacity to manage his own health-care decisions. In addition, police and social services uncovered no evidence that Toney was abusing King or taking advantage of him.

These new allegations that Toney poisoned King come days after a public viewing of King’s body, held May 22, and a family service, held May 23.

King’s death was attributed to his two-decade struggle with Type II diabetes. In the days following the guitarist’s death, Clark County coroner John Fudenberg determined said King died from multiple small strokes that resulted from reduced blood flow due to diabetes.

King is scheduled to be buried Saturday in his hometown of Indianola, Mississippi. The investigation into his death should not delay his burial, Fudenberg said Monday. The coroner said an autopsy was performed Sunday. Test results will take up to eight weeks and should not be affected by embalming.

Screen Shot 2015-05-27 at 10.09.16 AM.png


Add a Comment
0 Comments

Similar Guitar News

Stevie Ray Vaughan, B.B. King and Albert Collins Play "Texas Flood" — Video (5/28/2015)
The recent passing of the great B.B. King has inspired a host of casual blues fans to dig deep into their record collections—or into the depths of their iTunes libraries—to take a quick refresher course on exactly what made King so special, so r...
Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Tosin Abasi and Brendon Small Perform B.B. King's "The Thrill Is Gone" — Video (6/15/2015)
We love when shredders play the blues! As a tribute to B.B. King, who died May 14, Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Animals As Leaders' Tosin Abasi and Dethklok's Brendon Small performed King's "The Thrill Is Gone" Friday night at LA's Wiltern theater. ...
Joe Bonamassa to Honor Albert, Freddie and B.B. King on Three Kings of the Blues Tour (6/22/2015)
Joe Bonamassa is gearing up to deliver a musical tribute to the "Three Kings of the Blues"—Albert, B.B. and Freddie King. The Three Kings Tour, Bonamassa's first-ever U.S. amphitheater tour, will feature covers of tunes by these three late blue...
Jazz Guitar Corner: B.B. King Blues Lines for Jazz Guitar (5/27/2015)
After learning about B.B. King’s recent passing, I went back and spent some time listening to my old B.B. King records, enjoying spending time with one of my favorite guitarists. While listening to B.B.’s playing for a few hours, I began to hea...
B.B. King, Blues Guitar Legend, Dead at 89 (5/15/2015)
B.B. King, the iconic American blues guitarist known for his velvety voice and sparse, staccato picking style, died Thursday night at age 89. His daughter, Patty King, said he died in Las Vegas, where he announced two weeks ago that he was in ho...
B.B. King's Fingering Up Close: "Blues Boys Tune" Live at Montreux in 1993 — Video (6/9/2015)
Although we lost the legendary B.B. King just a few weeks ago, his legacy as a guitar player will live forever. Through videos like this one—an incendiary, up-close-and-personal video of King performing "Blues Boys Tune" at the 1993 Montreux Ja...
B.B. King Tribute: 10-Year-Old Guitarist Toby Lee Plays "The Thrill Is Gone" — Video (5/27/2015)
Here's one we intended to share last month, when blues legend B.B. King was still in hospice, suffering from diabetes-related health issues. It's a clip of 10-year-old U.K. guitarist Toby Lee performing an instrumental version of King's "The Thr...
B.B. King Died from Multiple Small Strokes (5/19/2015)
B.B. King’s death was brought on by a series of small strokes that are attributed to Type II diabetes, according to his physician, Darin Brimhall, and Las Vegas coroner John Fudenberg. King’s strokes resulted from reduced blood flow due to chron...
B.B. King Casually Changes His Guitar String Onstage Without Stopping the Song — Video (5/20/2015)
Here's a little something we picked up from the gang over at Guitar Player. It's a very cool video of the late B.B. King performing “How Blue Can You Get” at Farm Aid on September 22, 1985. What makes this performance so special is what happens ...
A Critical Analysis of B.B. King's 10 Greatest Guitar Moments (6/10/2015)
Blues guitarist and noted instructor Andy Aledort pays tribute to the late, great B.B. King in the all-new August 2015 issue of Guitar World. Below, he breaks down the legendary guitarist's 10 greatest guitar moments. Be sure to share your thoug...
100 Greatest Guitar Solos: No. 33 "The Thrill is Gone" (B.B. King) (5/15/2015)
“I carried this song around in my head for seven or eight years,” B.B. King recalls about “The Thrill Is Gone,” which had been an r&b hit for its author, pianist Roy Hawkins, in 1950. “It was a different kind of blues ballad. I’d been arran...
B.B. King Hospitalized for Diabetes-Related Dehydration (4/7/2015)
B.B. King has been hospitalized for diabetes-related dehydration, his daughter confirmed to the Los Angeles Times. Although King, 89, has battled Type II diabetes for more than 20 years, his daughter, Claudette, told the Times that the blues leg...
Ailing B.B. King Forced to Cancel Remainder of Tour (10/6/2014)
B.B. King has canceled the final eight performances of his tour after being diagnosed with dehydration and exhaustion. According to King's website, the 89-year-old singer/guitarist fell ill Friday night during a performance at the House of Blues...
Show Review: Tommy Emmanuel at B.B. King Blues Club NYC (6/22/2014)
When a guitar dreams of heaven, it doesn’t necessarily dream of being in the hands of Tommy Emmanuel. It’s not because he isn’t an amazing and adroit player that knows how to deliver an expressive and entertaining show. It’s not because he can’t...
100 Greatest Guitar Solos: No. 33 "The Thrill is Gone" (B.B. King) (9/16/2013)
“I carried this song around in my head for seven or eight years,” B.B. King recalls about “The Thrill Is Gone,” which had been an r&b hit for its author, pianist Roy Hawkins, in 1950. “It was a different kind of blues ballad. I’d been arrang...