GLENDALE, Calif. - One month after a lavish public memorial for Michael Jackson, the pop singer's family prepared to inter him privately Thursday in a mausoleum filled with legendary entertainers.
On Wednesday, a judge said Jackson's estate will bear the funeral costs, which were characterized by an attorney as "extraordinary." It was disclosed in court that 12 burial spaces were being purchased at Forest Lawn Glendale, about 13 kilometres north of downtown Los Angeles, but no details were offered on how they would be used.
Jackson will rest in the cemetery's Great Mausoleum with Hollywood stars including Clark Gable, Jean Harlow and W.C. Fields.
Jackson's funeral won't end the legal drama over his drug-induced death at age 50, which authorities have labelled a homicide. No criminal charges have been filed over his June 25 death, which came on the cusp of London concerts meant to restore Jackson to his once-incandescent stardom.
Last week, coroner's officials said they believed Jackson's death was homicide, and his death certificate has been amended to reflect that. It cites "injection by another" as the fatal injury.
Investigators have said a mix of the powerful anesthetic propofol and another sedative killed the pop singer. The new record lists "acute propofol intoxication" as the main cause of death and "benzodiazepine effect" as another significant contributor.
The certificate does not mention Dr. Conrad Murray, who was Jackson's personal physician. He told detectives that he gave the singer a series of sedatives and propofol to try to help him sleep.
The coroner's determination of homicide makes it easier for prosecutors to seek criminal charges, but does not necessarily mean a crime was committed.