Vegas judge: No evidence bluesman B.B. King is being abused

A judge finds there's no evidence that B.B. King is being abused

A dispute over B.B. King's health and wealth was tossed out of court on Thursday by a judge in Las Vegas who said two investigations found no evidence the blues legend is being abused.

King's doctor said the 89-year-old musician was in home hospice care.

The ruling keeps King's longtime business manager, Laverne Toney, in legal control of King's affairs.

Three of King's 11 surviving children said they suspect Toney is stealing money and neglecting King's medical care.

But Clark County Family Court Hearing Master Jon Norheim said police and social services investigations in October and April uncovered no reason to take power-of-attorney from Toney.

Williams said in an April 29 petition more than $5 million in assets was at stake.

Williams and legal adviser Frederick Waid allege Toney has blocked friends — including musicians Willie Nelson, Buddy Guy, Carlos Santana and Eric Clapton — from visiting King. They also say Toney put her family members on the King payroll, and that large sums of money have disappeared from King's bank accounts.

"The family has been unable to account for what is reported to be in excess of $1 million," the court document says.

King was hospitalized a week ago after police were called to his home in a dispute about his condition between Toney and another of King's daughters, Patty King. No arrests were made.

King returned home Friday.

King, born Riley B. King in the Mississippi farm town of Itta Bena, toured and performed almost continually until October, when he canceled the remaining shows in his 2014 tour after falling ill in Chicago with dehydration and exhaustion. The 15-time Grammy winner has released more than 50 albums and sold millions of records worldwide. He is considered one of the greatest guitarists of all time.

His guitar, famously named Lucille, has soared and wailed in songs ranging from "Every Day I Have the Blues" to "The Thrill is Gone."

King was married several times and had 15 biological and adoptive children. Four children have died.

His eldest surviving daughter, Shirley King, who tours as "Daughter of the Blues," said the dispute between family members and Toney has been months in the making.

"I'm not too sure things are right. But my dad would never want this," Shirley King said by telephone before traveling from her Chicago-area home to Las Vegas for Thursday's hearing.

Las Vegas police were called to King's home in November on allegations of elder neglect and abuse. Officer Jesse Roybal said this week that case remained open, and no details were available.

"I'm crying about what people are doing," Shirley King said. "I'm afraid it might get ugly. This is disrespect to him."

Associated Press

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