An Atlanta prosecutor may open an investigation into the 2006 death of James Brown after meeting with a woman who claims to have evidence that he was murdered.
Jacque Hollander provided information to support her claims to Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard Jr. on Wednesday, Chris Hopper, the DA’s director of public affairs, confirmed to USA TODAY Thursday.
Hopper said Howard will examine the information to determine whether a formal investigation into Brown’s death is warranted.
He stressed that there is “not a case” currently underway and didn’t provide a timeline if the district attorney decided to move forward.
“There’s no official death investigation open at this time,” Hopper said.
Brown died on Dec. 25, 2006, at age 73. His official cause of death was listed as congestive heart failure resulting from complications of pneumonia.
Was James Brown murdered?More than a dozen people want his death investigated
In a three-part investigation by CNN, published last year, more than a dozen people who knew the singer said they wanted a criminal investigation into his death or would like the singer’s body to be exhumed for an autopsy.
One of the nearly 140 people interviewed for the CNN piece was Marvin Crawford, the doctor who treated Brown at an Atlanta hospital prior to his death and the one who signed his death certificate. Crawford now says he too doubts Brown died of natural cause. Instead, he believes it was an overdose, accidental or otherwise.
Brown’s condition “changed too fast,” Crawford told CNN.
“He was a patient I would never have predicted would have coded,” Crawford said, referring to a medical slang term used to describe a patient in cardiopulmonary arrest. “But he died that night, and I did raise that question: What went wrong in that room?”
In the CNN piece, Hollander also alleged that she was raped by Brown in 1988.
Contributing: Sara M Moniuszko