Investigators for a district attorney’s office in Atlanta are probing claims that James Brown was murdered while considering launching a full-scale investigation after the woman making the allegations reportedly provided new evidence to the prosecutor.
Chris Hopper, director of public affairs for the Fulton County District Attorney’s office, confirmed his office was examining claims made by Jacque Hollander, a singer who has long said Brown was murdered when he died at a hospital in 2006 at 73.
Mr Hopper told USA Today that, while there was “not a case” underway at the moment, District Attorney Paul Howard Jr was looking at the information Ms Hollander provided during a meeting with the prosecutor.
He added: “There’s no official death investigation open at this time.”
Brown, a legendary funk and soul singer-songwriter often considered one of the most influential modern popular performers, died of congestive heart failure resulting from complications of pneumonia, according to his death certificate.
His sudden death sparked allegations of foul play and was the subject of a bombshell investigative report by CNN, which interviewed nearly 140 people.
Marvin Crawford, the doctor overseeing Brown’s care when he apparently suffered the heart attack, told CNN about the singer: “He changed too fast … He was a patient I would never have predicted would have coded.”
He added: “But he died that night, and I did raise that question: What went wrong in that room?”
Ms Hollander provided evidence to Mr Howard that included a green plastic storage bin and a stack of printed-out text messages according to CNN, which sent reporters to cover the meeting between the prosecutor and singer on Wednesday.
Ms Hollander, who participated in the CNN investigation surrounding Brown’s death, has also alleged she was raped by the performer in 1988.
The district attorney will reportedly review the new evidence while considering launching a criminal investigation, which could include exhuming Brown’s body for an autopsy.
Mr Howard told CNN his investigators were in the process of conducting interviews and weighing the evidence before he makes a decision.