B.B. King is resting in peace, but it may be a while before his family makes theirs. The late blues legend’s two daughters, Karen Williams and Patty King, have come forward with claims that their father’s business manager and assistant poisoned him.
Homicide detectives in Las Vegas, where King spent his final days, are investigating the allegations, the police department confirmed on Monday (May 25).
The sisters say that family members were prevented from visiting King while his business manager, LaVerne Toney, and personal assistant, Myron Johnson, expedited his death. Toney, who worked for King for 39 years, had power-of-attorney over his affairs and is executor of his will.
“I believe my father was poisoned and that he was administered foreign substances,” Patty King and Williams say in their affidavits, the Associated Press reports. “I believe my father was murdered,” they say in the documents, which share common wording. No family members were present when King died on May 14, at the age of 89. Only Johnson was at his bedside.
“They’ve been making allegations all along. What’s new?” Toney responds.
“The family is sticking together … to oust Ms. Toney based on her illegal conduct, conflicts of interest and self-dealing,” an attorney for the daughters says, adding that Toney hastened King’s death by “misconduct, or by failing to properly attend to his medical needs.”
“This is extremely disrespectful to B.B. King,” Toney’s attorney Brent Bryson says. “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.”
Last week, thousands gathered in Las Vegas for a public memorial for King, preceded by a private viewing of his body for his family. A burial is scheduled in King’s hometown of Indianola, Mississippi on Saturday. An autopsy was performed on King and results will be made available in eight weeks, hopefully providing some answers for the music icon’s family.
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