Coroner: B.B. King died of natural causes


The late blues artist Riley "B.B." King died of natural causes and not foul play, the Clark County coroner‘s office announced Monday.

King‘s May 14 death caused contention when his daughters alleged he‘d been poisoned by LaVerne Toney, his longtime manager, and one of his aides.

The primary cause of King‘s death was Alzheimer‘s disease. Other diseases contributed to his death, including diabetes and heart disease, an autopsy and toxicology test determined. The coroner‘s office originally said the 89-year-old died from multiple strokes, but additional tests were conducted after family members claimed foul play.

One of King‘s daughter, Rita King Washington, told the Review-Journal that she was thankful to hear about the autopsy results, and that knowing that her father died of natural causes brings closure to the family.

She said that the initial report on King‘s death was general and didn‘t provide many details.

The family is thankful to the fans being patient and letting the family grieve King after the case had played out in public, she said, adding that the family can now move on and his legacy can continue.

"It is unfortunate that Mr. King‘s body had to be subjected to a needless autopsy based upon fictional assertions," said E. Brent Bryson, Toney‘s attorney, through a statement. "Perhaps we can now focus on the body of musical work Mr. King left the world and stop the ‘witch hunt.‘"

In a news release, Clark County Coroner John Fudenberg sad that he‘s confident King died of natural causes."Our condolences go out to the family and many friends of Mr. King, and we hope this determination brings some measure of closure."

King died in hospice care.

Contact Ricardo Torres at rtorres@reviewjournal.com and 702-383-0381. Find him on Twitter: @rickytwrites.