Former Alice in Chains bassist found dead in Salt Lake City

Published: Tuesday, March 8 2011 5:32 p.m. MST

SALT LAKE CITY — The original bassist for Alice In Chains was found dead in Salt Lake City Tuesday — just weeks after he was arrested for investigation of drug possession.

Salt Lake police have confirmed that Mike Starr, 44, was found dead in a home at 1986 S. Richards Street (55 West) just after 1:40 p.m. Police were called to the home for a possible death and confirmed that the deceased individual was Starr.

They have not released a possible cause of death. The Utah State Medical Examiner's Office has the body and will perform an autopsy.

An alternative rocker and reality TV personality, Starr was arrested in Salt Lake City on Feb. 17, when he was riding in the passenger seat of a van that was pulled over on a routine traffic violation.

According to jail documents, Starr was illegally in possession of prescription medication, including the painkiller Opana, also known as oxymorphone, and alprazalam pills, used to treat anxiety and panic attacks.

The vehicle was driven by Travis Meeks of the rock band Days of the New. Meeks was issued a citation for driving on a suspended license and then released.

The arresting officer also found Starr had a warrant out for his arrest. According to Utah court records, Starr was convicted in 3rd District Court in 2003 of felony drug possession. But a bench warrant was issued on Aug. 25, 2003, when he failed to appear for sentencing.

Starr was the bass player for Seattle rockers Alice in Chains from their formation in 1987 to 1993, when he left the band.

Despite having a warrant out for his arrest, Starr wasn't exactly in hiding. In 2010, Starr was in VH1's Celebrity Rehab program for heroin addiction. During the show's taping, he said he had been kicked out of Alice In Chains for drug abuse.

Emiley MorganTwitter: DNewsCrimeTeam

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