Whit­ney Hous­ton died from drown­ing, coroner says

The Washington Times Daily - - Nation -

LOS AN­GE­LES | Whit­ney Hous­ton died from drown­ing in a ho­tel bath­tub, but coroner’s of­fi­cials said Thurs­day that heart dis­ease and chronic co­caine use were con­tribut­ing fac­tors to the singer’s death.

The re­lease of au­topsy find­ings ends weeks of spec­u­la­tion about what killed the Grammy-win­ning singer on Feb. 11 on the eve of the Grammy Awards.

Hous­ton was found sub­merged in the bath­tub of her room at the Bev­erly Hil­ton Ho­tel, and her death was ruled as ac­ci­den­tal. Sev­eral bot­tles of pre­scrip­tion med­i­ca­tions were found in her ho­tel room, but coroner’s of­fi­cials said they weren’t in ex­ces­sive quan­ti­ties.

Bev­erly Hills po­lice said in a state­ment there was no ev­i­dence of wrong­do­ing in con­nec­tion with Hous­ton’s death.

“We are sad­dened to learn of the tox­i­col­ogy re­sults, although we are glad to now have clo­sure,” said Pa­tri­cia Hous­ton, the singer’s sis­ter-in-law and man­ager.

Coroner’s spokesman Craig Har­vey said co­caine and its byprod­ucts were found in Hous­ton’s sys­tem, and it was listed as a con­tribut­ing fac­tor in her death. He said the re­sults in­di­cated that Hous­ton was a chronic co­caine user.

Coroner’s of­fi­cials said they also found traces of mar­i­juana, Xanax and Be­nadryl in her sys­tem. pleaded guilty Thurs­day to fed­eral hate crimes and ad­mit­ted to a months-long pat­tern of bru­tal ha­rass­ment of blacks a day af­ter one of them pleaded guilty to a state mur­der charge.

Dy­lan But­ler, 20; Deryl Ded­mon, 19; and John Aaron Rice, 19; en­tered the pleas in fed­eral court to con­spir­acy to com­mit a hate crime and to com­mit­ting a hate crime. Au­thor­i­ties said the in­ves­ti­ga­tion con­tin­ues and there could be more ar­rests.

U.S. Dis­trict Judge Carl­ton Reeves set sen­tenc­ing for June 8 and or­dered all three to be held.

Pros­e­cu­tor Shel­don Beer said the three men harassed or as­saulted black peo­ple who they thought were home­less or in­tox­i­cated and who they thought would not tell po­lice. The ha­rass­ment be­gan in April 2011, cul­mi­nat­ing in the death of James Craig An­der­son, a 47-year-old car plant worker, on June 26.

Each was charged with the same two crimes. They face up to five years in prison on the con­spir­acy charge and up to life on the hate crime charge. Ded­mon re­ceived two life sen­tences Wed­nes­day on the state mur­der charges.

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