US

Prosecutors seek life for political donor Ed Buck’s deadly fetish

Los Angeles “Even after two men were found dead in his California apartment, Ed Buck never stopped injecting homosexuals with massive doses of methamphetamine.

Federal prosecutors have said Buck’s relentless fervor to fulfill a fetish by preying on vulnerable, often young, black men is reason enough to keep him behind bars for the rest of his life.

Buck, 67, a big-dollar donor to Democratic, LGBTQ and animal rights causes, faces sentencing in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles on Thursday for deliver lethal doses of drugsoperating a drug den and tricking men into traveling for prostitution.

“Buck used his money and privileges to exploit wealth and power imbalances between himself and his victims, who were homeless, destitute and/or struggling with addiction,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Chelsea Norell said. in a court case. “He spent thousands of dollars on drugs and partying and gambling that destroyed lives and spawned insidious addictions.”

Defense attorneys are asking a judge to be more lenient because Buck was sexually abused as a child and developed his drug addiction as a result of a medical condition.

Lawyers Mark Werksman and Elizabeth Little said the judge should go below the 25-year sentence recommended by probation officials which would allow for rehabilitation and treatment and ‘would be far preferable to relegating him to death in prison’ .

Probation officials also recommended a fine of $1 million, though prosecutors said it should be $400,000 to leave money for lawsuits by the families of his survivors.

Buck, a wealthy white man who worked as a male model and then made a small fortune selling an Arizona business he saved from bankruptcy, helped lead a 1987 campaign to recall the Republican governor of Arizona Evan Mecham, who was ultimately convicted in an impeachment trial and expelled from office.

Buck retired at age 32 to the city of West Hollywood, known for its large LGBTQ community, where he lived in a rent-controlled apartment and donated more than $500,000 to primarily Democratic causes since 2000.

His troubles started when Gemmel Moore was found dead in his apartment on July 27, 2017. Buck had Moore flown in from Texas that morning for drug use and he was dead by sunset.

Moore’s mother, LaTisha Nixon, said in a letter to the court that she hoped Buck would get the maximum sentence for ruining her life and the hurt it caused her family. Nixon, a certified practical nurse, said she couldn’t comfort her son like she has done for countless dying people.

“All I can think of is how my son died naked on a mattress with no love around him,” Nixon said. “No one to hold his hand or say good things to him.”

Community members and activists gathered outside Buck’s apartment, demanding his arrest, but he remained free. Family members and Jasmyne Cannick, a political strategist, complained that Buck escaped prosecution because of his wealth, political connections and race.

While under investigation into Moore’s death, Buck continued to pay men so he could inject them. He texted a man, Timothy Dean, to express his displeasure with the investigation.

About 18 months after Moore’s death, deputies were called to Buck’s apartment on January 7, 2019 to investigate Dean’s death.

Even after Dean’s death, Buck was not arrested.

“Buck’s lack of remorse is well captured in one image: While hiding in a hotel, escaping arrest for the death of Gemmel Moore, he injected Dane Brown, another young black man, with consecutive doses of methamphetamine,” says Norelle.

Brown was homeless and later moved into Buck’s apartment, where he was injected with methamphetamine almost daily and often several times a day.

He was hospitalized on September 4, 2019, after Buck shot him three times with consecutive doses. He had five times as much methamphetamine in his system as Moore and Dean had when they died, prosecutors said.

Brown returned less than a week later and felt overdosed after Buck injected him with meth three times. Like other victims who testified against Buck at trial last summer, Brown was nearly immobilized. He said Buck wouldn’t help him.

“Brown sat down on the couch, resigned to the same fate as Moore and Dean, when he heard his dead mother yell at him, ‘Get up, Dane,'” Norell said.

Brown managed to get out of the apartment and to a nearby gas station, where he called for help and was taken to hospital. His harrowing account of being resurrected twice ultimately led to Buck’s arrest.

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