Inland Empire News

Rodney King death ruled accidental - autopsy

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Rodney King died from an accidental drowning, and he also had a lethal combination of drugs and alcohol, according to an autopsy released on Thursday.

The drugs cited in the toxicology report include PCP, cocaine and marijuana. At the time of his death, the report says King was in a state of a drug and alcohol-induced delirium, which caused him to either jump or fall into his swimming pool.

According to the report, on the night prior to his death on June 17, King and a friend had been drinking heavily. King's girlfriend, Cynthia Kelly, told investigators that after taking that friend home, she and King returned home, and King stayed up and continued to drink while she went to sleep.

She said she then awoke to find King banging on the patio door. When she went outside, she found him laying naked in the bushes, so she went inside to get her cellphone. When she came back outside, he was floating face down in the pool.

Because she is not a good swimmer, she called police, who retrieved King's body from the pool and performed CPR. He later died at the hospital.

The death was ruled an accidental drowning, with a contributing cause of alcohol and drugs in combination with a heart condition King had. That caused him to suffer a fatal cardiac arrhythmia, meaning he was unable to help himself out of the pool.

The medical examiner said there was no sign of a suicide or a homicide in the case.

King became famous after his videotaped beating by Los Angeles police in 1991. The acquittal of the officers involved sparked the infamous L.A. riots.

In the years since the beating and the following riots, King has struggled to live a stable life. He was arrested or detained by police at least a dozen times on charges ranging from DUI to domestic violence. King made numerous attempts at rehab, even going on two different reality shows. He appeared on the second season of "Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew" in 2008 and also appeared on the show's spin-off "Sober House," which chronicled his attempt to lead a sober life, in 2009.

(Copyright ©2014 KABC-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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famous death, inland empire news, leticia juarez
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