Pills seized in search of Jackson mansion

Bags of pills and other medicines were seized from Michael Jackson's rented mansion yesterday as his personal physician continued to insist that the singer had not taken an overdose.

Dr Conrad Murray's lawyer Edward Chernoff said his client was "ruling out" an overdose as cause of death based on what he knew of Jackson's final hours.

But speculation over the role of medication in the singer's demise was further fuelled after coroners investigating the death were seen removing two bags of pharmaceutical drugs from Jackson's home.

Assistant chief coroner Ed Winter said the substances were being seized following information from the police investigation and questions raised by the coroner's office.

But he declined to say what the drugs were or the quantities involved.

Mr Chernoff told CNN that his client believed that Jackson's death was not the result of medication.

"From what we know we are ruling out an overdose," he said.

Asked if it was possible that Jackson could have taken drugs not prescribed by the doctor, Mr Chernoff replied: "I suppose it is possible, but Dr Murray was there that night and he did not see him take Demerol or OxyContin or any other pills that would have cased these problems."

A full toxicology report from the coroner's examination is weeks away from being returned. Meanwhile the family of the dead pop star is continuing to wait for the results of a second private post mortem they ordered themselves.

Joe Jackson, the singer's father, said he was waiting to find out what happened to his son before announcing details of his funeral.

But Mr Jackson said the funeral will not be closed to the public.

Dr Murray faced further questions yesterday after it emerged that it took up to half an hour for paramedics to be called to the house.

Representatives for the physician said the delay was due to the doctor's unfamiliarity of his location and a lack of land line telephone.

"He didn't know where he was, didn't know the physical address," Matt Alford of the law firm representing Dr Murray said.

He added: "There was no land line, no phone in Jackson's room that would have allowed him to call. It was all happening so fast."

It was only when Dr Murray found the singer's chef who contacted a security guard that emergency assistance was called for.

In further developments yesterday, Michael Jackson's mother won temporary custody of his three children today.

The children - Prince Michael, 12; Paris Michael, 11; and Prince Michael II, 7 - will now stay with the Jackson family at least until a further hearing on August 3.

Katherine Jackson filed papers at the Los Angeles Superior Court.

It was also reported that Mrs Jackson filed a second court action looking to take control of her son's estate.

The Jacksons' lawyer Londell McMillan said the family had not yet heard from Deborah Rowe, the mother of the two elder children. The youngest son was born to a surrogate mother.

The singer's father has stated that looking after the children was the family's "first priority".

It is not known if Ms Rowe intends to contest the petition.

Under Californian law, biological parents are given priority in custodial cases. But a court can rule against them if it is decided that it would be detrimental to the children involved.

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