Ed Buck, a Democratic donor accused of offering men drugs at his home in incidents that led to two overdose deaths, has been convicted on all counts.
A Los Angeles Superior Court jury convicted Buck, 66, on nine felony counts, including two counts of distribution of controlled substances resulting in death. Prosecutors said Gemmel Moore, 26, and Timothy Dean, 55, died after ingesting methamphetamine provided by Buck at his West Hollywood apartment in 2017 and 2019, respectively.
The verdict, reached in under five hours, means Buck may face life in prison.
The two-week trial was punctuated by emotional testimony, with the prosecution's final witness breaking down while speaking Thursday as he recounted how he nearly died after being forced to inject methamphetamine in the Democrat donor's drug den.
"I felt like I was going to pass out, and my heart was beating hard, and I was nervous and felt like I was about to die," testified witness Dane Brown. "Something in my [mind], my mother, it was as if she was telling me to 'Get up. Get up. That's it! I'm going to the hospital.'"
Earlier in the trial, witness Carlos Sinclair testified he was pressured to inject GHP and methamphetamine, something he refused to do. At one point, he passed out after smoking the drugs and discovered Buck injected him while he was asleep, according to journalist Jasmyne Cannick.
"When I woke up, Ed Buck was sitting on me and facing me, injecting me with crystal meth," Cannick recounted Sinclair testifying on July 13. "[Buck] said, 'Don't move because there is a needle in your arm.' Carlos said he felt violated."
In 2017, Moore was allegedly held against his will and "shot up" with drugs, according to court documents,. But it wasn't until Dean's death in 2019 that the Democratic donor was arrested and charged.
Buck’s defense centered on claims the victims willingly engaged in the drug and sex scenarios.
"Ed Buck is not the monster that the government is portraying him as," said attorney Ludlow Creary during closing arguments, alleging the men who spoke out against his client during the trial were lying to make money, a characterization prosecutors slammed as "despicable victim shaming," according to multiple outlets.
Since 2000, Buck has donated more than $500,000 to Democratic causes and candidates, mostly in California.
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Original Author: Carly Roman
Original Location: Democratic donor Ed Buck found guilty in drug overdose deaths