Was James Brown killed? Prosecutor may open new investigation into singer's 2006 death

An Atlanta prosecutor is weighing whether to open an investigation into the death of James Brown after meeting with a woman who claims she has evidence the singer was slain.

On Wednesday, Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard Jr. interviewed Jacque Hollander, a circus singer who has been alleging for years Brown was killed. Howard told CNN his office plans to conduct further interviews and examine potential evidence before deciding whether to launch a full investigation.

The news comes one year after CNN's explosive investigation in which 13 people close to Brown said they don't believe he died of natural causes. Brown, dubbed the “Godfather of Soul,” died at an Atlanta hospital on Dec. 25, 2006. He was 73. Brown's official cause of death was listed as congestive heart failure due to complications from pneumonia.

CNN sat in on Hollander's meeting with the district attorney. Howard and two other prosecutors listened as she gave them a list of other witnesses, provided them with a stack of printed text messages and provided a green plastic storage bin that she said was filled with evidence.

James Brown, "The Godfather of Soul" (1933-2006)
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James Brown, "The Godfather of Soul" (1933-2006)
The body of James Brown is on display to the public at the Apollo Theater in New York, Thursday, Dec. 28, 2006. Thousands of people danced and sang in the streets outside the Apollo Theater on Thursday, Dec. 28, 2006 in raucous celebration of the music legend's life as his body was displayed to the public on the stage where he made his 1956 debut. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
The golden casket James Brown, known as the Godfather of Soul, stops in front of the Apollo Theater in New York, Thursday, Dec. 28, 2006. Thousands of people danced and sang in the streets outside the historic Apollo Theater in raucous celebration of the "Godfather of Soul" Thursday as his body was displayed on the stage where he made his 1956 debut. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
** FILE ** In a photo photo James Brown sings "Living in America" during his three-hour concert at the Wiltern Theater in Los Angeles, Ca., on June 10, 1991. Brown, the dynamic, pompadoured "Godfather of Soul," whose rasping vocals and revolutionary rhythms made him a founder of rap, funk and disco as well, died early Monday, Dec. 25, 2006, his agent said. He was 73. (AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian)
The Hollywood Walk of Fame star of James Brown is covered with candles and flowers placed by fans of the "Godfather of Soul," in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles, Monday, Dec. 25, 2006. Legendary singer James Brown died at 73 of heart failure in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian)
"Godfather of Soul" James Brown performs during a concert at Yunfeng Theater in Shanghai, China, Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2006. This concert is Brown's first performance in the Mainland China. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)
"Godfather of Soul" James Brown performs during a concert at Yunfeng Theater in Shanghai, China, Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2006. This concert is Brown's first performance in the Mainland China. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)
"Godfather of Soul" James Brown performs during a Java Jazz Festival concert in Jakarta, Indonesia, late Friday, March 4, 2005. Brown tops a star-studded line-up of jazz greats to perform in the three-day festival of which some portion of the ticket sales will be donated to Dec. 26 tsunami victims. (AP Photo/Dita Alangkara)
Music legend James Brown arrives for the 47th Annual Grammy Awards, Sunday, Feb. 13, 2005, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
FILE - In this Tuesday, June 24, 2003 file picture, Michael Jackson, left, performs with James Brown during the BET Awards in Los Angeles. Jackson later presented Brown with a lifetime achievement award. Jackson has died in Los Angeles at age 50 on Thursday, June 25, 2009. (AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian)
James Brown performs "I Feel Good" on the steps of the South Carolina Statehouse Wednesday April 10, 2002, in Columbia, S.C. Earlier the governor issued a proclamation declaring Brown South Carolina's Godfather of Soul. Playing for Brown was the Sensational Epics. (AP Photo/Lou Krasky)
Godfather of soul James Brown, right, listens to instructions during testimony Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2002, in a sexual harassment suit brought by a former female employee, not seen, during a court appearance in Los Angeles Superior Court in downtown Los Angeles. At left is Judge Mel Red Recana. The female employee claims he made demeaning remarks and actions around her. Brown said outside court, "I don't demean anybody." (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
James Brown, left, and Lenny Kravitz embrace after performing at the 2000 VH1/Vogue Fashion Awards at New York's Madison Square Garden on Friday, Oct. 20, 2000. (AP Photo/Steve Chernin)
Singer James Brown performs with his band of musicians and dancers during a seaside concert in Beirut Sunday night, January 2, 2000. The "Godfather of Soul" was performing as part of Lebanon 2000, a December 26 - January 9 entertainment festival to welcome the new millennium and celebrate Christmas and New Year as well as the Islamic Eid el-Fitr holidays in this multi-sectarian Arab nation. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)
Paul McCartney, left, leans on James Brown's shoulder during the grand finale of the 31st Annual Songwriter's Hall of Fame Induction and Awards dinner in New York, Thursday, June 15, 2000. (AP Photo/Stuart Ramson)
Singer James Brown, 66, smiles during a news conference in San Francisco, Wednesday, Aug. 4, 1999 to announce his Millennium Birthday Bash celebration in San Francisco next May. Brown is also known as the Godfather of Soul. In background is singer Tomi Rae. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)
The Godfather of Soul James Brown, center, waves as he arrives for the opening of Woodstock '99 Friday July 23, 1999, on the site of the former Griffiss Air Force Base in Rome, N.Y. There were 150,000 people on site at daybreak and organizers expected another 70,000 to arrive by mid-day. Man at right is unidentified(AP Photo/Dave Duprey)
The "Godfather of Soul" James Brown, right, shares a laugh with Georgia Gov. Zell Miller on Thursday, March 27, 1997 at the Capitol in Atlanta. Brown, who was born in Augusta, Ga., was honored by both houses of the legislature during his visit. (AP Photo/Erik S. Lesser)
FILE - In this file photo from Thursday, Sept. 8, 1994, the late singer James Brown, known also as The Godfather of Soul, greet fans outside the famed Apollo Theater in the Harlem neighborhood of New York. The Apollo Theater unveiled its Walk of Fame on Monday May 10, 2010, celebrating Brown, Smokey Robinson, Quincy Jones, Patti LaBelle, James Brown, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Little Richard, and Ella Fitzgerald. (AP Photo/Monika Graff, File)
** FILE ** James Brown, the Godfather of Soul, performs with singers Rick James, left, at the Wiltern Theater in Los Angeles, in this June 11, 1991 file photo. James died Friday, Aug. 6, 2004, at his home in Los Angeles of natural causes. (AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian, File)
James Brown, the Godfather of Soul, performs with singers Rick James, left, and Bootsy Collins at the Wiltern Theater in Los Angeles on June 11, 1991. Brown made his return to the stage for the first time in more than two years since serving time in prison for aggravated assault and failing to stop for a police officer. (AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian)
A life-size bronze statue of James Brown stands in downtown Augusta, Georgia - the soul singer's early childhood years were spent in Augusta, singing in talent shows as a young child, appearing at Augusta's Lenox Theater in 1944. (Photo by Epics/Getty Images)
A road sign for James Brown Boulevard is seen in Augusta, Georgia - in 1993 Augusta payed tribute to James Brown, the 'Godfather of Soul who was born there by renaming 9th street in downtown Augusta after him. (Photo by Epics/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - July 12: MANDATORY CREDIT Bill Tompkins/Getty Images James Brown performing at the Central Park Summerstage Concert series on July 12, 1997 in New York City. (Photo by Bill Tompkins/Getty Images)

"So," Howard asked Hollander, per CNN, "are you bringing the bin to leave here?"

"Well," she said, "I sure don't want it."

Howard accepted the bin and its contents and said investigators will check out her story. Yahoo Entertainment reached out to Howard's office for comment, but did not immediately receive a response.

Hollander first called CNN in 2017 claiming Brown and his third wife, Adrienne Brown, had been killed. Adrienne died Jan. 6, 1996 in California while recovering from plastic surgery. Police did not investigate her death.

CNN interviewed 140 people for its investigative series last year. At least 13 people who knew Brown — including Hollander, Brown's manager, his son Daryl, his last wife and a man who claimed to have taken a vial of Brown's blood from the hospital — said they want police to open a criminal investigation into his death or exhume the singer's body for an autopsy.

"CNN found many reasons to question whether James or Adrienne Brown died of natural causes," the network states in its story.

After Atlanta police declined to open an investigation into Brown's death, Holland said she's grateful the district attorney agreed to meet with her.

"He was very kind," she said outside the courthouse Wednesday. "I think he will get to the bottom of this."

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