When B.B. King died earlier this month, the legendary blues performer had been in hospice care for weeks after entering the hospital for diabetes-related complications in April. So while his death was undoubtedly sad, it wasn’t unexpected. But now the story has taken a new, more shocking turn: Two of King’s daughters claim he was poisoned, prompting authorities in Nevada to launch an investigation into his death.
According to court documents obtained by The Associated Press, King’s daughters Karen Williams and Patty King allege that King’s business manager, LaVerne Toney, and his personal assistant, Myron Johnson, prevented them from seeing their father in his final days while they administered poisons that would hasten his death. “I believe my father was poisoned and that he was administered foreign substances,” the identically worded affidavits say. “I believe my father was murdered.” Additionally, King’s affidavit states that she saw Toney putting two drops of an unknown substance on her father’s tongue in the months before his death.
Toney and King’s children have been fighting in court for a while. According to The Hollywood Reporter, a Nevada judge rejected a petition for Williams to take over as King’s legal guardian on May 7, and an April 29 petition alleges that Toney was blocking King’s friends and family from visiting him and that large sums of money disappeared from King’s bank account in the weeks leading up to his death. Before his death, King had given Toney power of attorney and named her the executor of his multimillion-dollar estate.
Now the Clark County, Nevada coroner’s office is involved, saying over Twitter that it had taken possession of King’s body and would have autopsy results in about eight weeks. For his part, King’s attorney Brent Bryson says King received proper medical care until his death and calls the allegations “extremely disrespectful,” saying King “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.”