BB King Was Poisoned, Daughters Claim; Estate Attorney Denies Allegations

BB King Was Poisoned, Daughters Claim; Estate Attorney Denies Allegations
BB King Daniele Dalledonne / Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0

After family members of B.B. King claimed there was “foul play” involved in his death, an autopsy was performed on the body of the blues legend.


There was “no evidence to substantiate the allegations” in the initial autopsy results, according to John Fudenberg, coroner for Clark County, Nevada. However, a complete assessment could take up to six to eight weeks, according to CNN.

Fudenberg further said, “The family has made some allegations. I can’t go into specifics.

“We were contacted by several of the family members’ legal counsel. They were making allegations of foul play.”

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The allegations were made by two of King’s daughters, Patty King and Karen Williams, in identically worded affidavits provided by their lawyer, Larissa Drohobyczer.

“I believe my father was murdered and that he was administered foreign substances,” the affidavits said.

Karen and Patty also claim that King’s family was prevented from meeting him and that King’s business manager LaVerne Toney and personal assistant Myron Johnson rushed King’s death. In the court documents, Toney has been named in King’s will as executor of an estate amounting up to tens of millions of dollars.

Johnson was present beside King when the blues singer passed away on May 14 at his home in Las Vegas. He was 89.

Although the accused declined to comment on the allegations, Toney – who worked as King’s business manager for 39 years and had the power of attorney over his affairs – said, “They’ve been making allegations all along. What’s new?”

According to The Guardian, Williams’ request to take over as guardian was denied by a judge in Las Vegas. In a petition filed on April 29, Toney was alleged to have precluded King’s friends from visiting him. It also said that considerable sums of money were missing from King’s bank accounts.

However, following investigations in October and April, Clark county family court hearing master Jon Norheim said a week before King’s death that there wasn’t a reason to take from Toney the power of attorney.

Drohobyczer, who also represents most of King’s other adult children, said, “The family is sticking together … to oust Ms. Toney based on her illegal conduct, conflicts of interest and self-dealing,” Drohobyczer said. Her allegations state that Toney was responsible for King’s death because of “misconduct, or by failing to properly attend to his medical needs.”

Brent Bryson, a lawyer representing King’s estate, said that Drohobyczer’s claims were ridiculous.

According to The Independent, he said, “I hope they have a factual basis that they can demonstrate for their defamatory and libelous allegations.

“This is extremely disrespectful to BB King. He did not want invasive medical procedures. He made the decision to return home for hospice care instead of staying in a hospital. These unfounded allegations have caused Mr King to undergo an autopsy, which is exactly what he didn’t want.”

A public viewing for King will be held at the B.B. King Museum in Indianola, Mississippi, on Friday, while funeral services will be conducted the following day.

“Our investigation will not prohibit or delay the services they have planned,” Fudenberg said.

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