BREAKING: Ed Buck guilty on all counts

Ed Buck’s former apartment building on Laurel Ave. in West Hollywood.

After just 4 1/2 hours of deliberations, former political donor Ed Buck was convicted Tuesday of a series of federal charges, including providing methamphetamine to two men who died in his West Hollywood apartment.

Buck was convicted of all nine felony counts he was facing. The verdicts came on the four-year anniversary of the death of one of the two victims, 26-year-old Gemmel Moore, in Buck’s apartment. As each guilty verdict was read aloud by the judge, family members and friends of the dead men applauded and hugged.

“We had a serial killer on the streets of West Hollywood for years,” Samuel Lloyd, Moore’s former roommate and best friend, said outside the courthouse. “But nobody cared. We have to start standing up before it ever gets to this point again.”

Following eight days of testimony, Buck was convicted in Los Angeles federal court of two counts of distribution of controlled substances resulting in death, stemming from the deaths of Moore in July 2017 and Timothy Dean in January 2019. Those charges both carry 20-year mandatory minimums.

Buck was also convicted of enticing Moore and another man to travel to Los Angeles to engage in prostitution; knowingly and intentionally distributing methamphetamine; and using his West Hollywood apartment for the purpose of distributing narcotics such as methamphetamine, and the sedatives gamma hydroxybutyric acid (GHB) and clonazepam.

Buck showed no emotion as he heard the verdicts.

U.S. District Judge Christina Snyder did not set a sentencing date, but scheduled post-trial motions on Aug. 9.

“It was a tremendous honor to vindicate the rights of the victims,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Chelsea Norell, who helped prosecute the case, told reporters.

Prosecutors said that Buck caused the deaths of Moore and Dean as a result of his “fetish” for injecting men with increasing doses of methamphetamine until they became comatose. The defense countered that the victims had underlying medical conditions that ended their lives.

“He would find desolate, vulnerable victims and push meth on them over and over … until they went unconscious,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Lindsay Bailey told jurors in her closing argument. “That’s what he liked about it — the power gave him sexual gratification. … Every time he stuck a needle in someone’s arm, he was playing God. And he never stopped — not even after two men died.”

Ludlow Creary II, one of Buck’s attorneys, argued that his client did nothing more than enjoy party-and-play sessions involving drugs and sex with men he met online. Buck could not be held responsible for the serious medical conditions that caused the deaths of the two men at his apartment 18 months apart, the attorney said.

“This is a subculture, a lifestyle that may be shocking to some of us,” Creary said during his summation. “Everyone involved was there voluntarily.”

Buck, who has reportedly given more than $500,000 to mostly Democratic politicians and causes since 2000, declined to testify in his own defense.

Over the course of the trial, federal prosecutors called more than 20 witnesses, including four men who told of smoking methamphetamine that Buck provided and then being pressured to allow the defendant to shoot them up with the drug.

One of the men, Dane Brown, testified that he passed out after being given several injections, and then managed to rouse himself, leave the apartment and go to a nearby gas station, where he called the paramedics who saved his life.

“When I walked out of that apartment, I didn’t know what would happen next,” Brown said outside court Tuesday. “I made it out alive.”

West Hollywood Mayor Lindsey P. Horvath, who stood with victims’ family members outside the courthouse, said that with the conviction of Buck — who unsuccessfully ran for the WeHo city council in 2007 — “our community is now safer.”

Prosecutors said Buck exploited vulnerable, primarily Black men by paying them to come to his home, use drugs and engage in sex play to satisfy a fetish.

“The lives of Black gay men matter — no matter if they’re homeless, survival sex workers or escorts — this is a case that transcends race, class, wealth,” said political strategist and journalist Jasmyne Cannick. “Our lives, our community matters.”

The defense called just one witness to the stand. Dr. Marvin Pietruszka, who runs a private autopsy service in the San Fernando Valley, testified Friday that he analyzed photos, slides and medical reports on the bodies of Moore and Dean, finding that both men had serious underlying medical conditions that caused their deaths. Methamphetamine, he told the jury, did not kill either of the men.

Moore, Pietruszka said, died of complications from AIDS and pulmonary edema, while Dean died 18 months later, also in Buck’s apartment, of alcohol poisoning and heart disease.

Prosecution witnesses, including a county medical examiner, testified that both men died from lethal overdoses of methamphetamine.

In his closing argument, Creary appeared to shock the courtroom by using a racial slur while blaming the prosecution for trying to put forth “the racist notion that Black men have no morals … no self-control,” and that Buck somehow was so powerful that he could force men against their wills to come to his apartment and engage in party-and-play.

“You had a bunch of Black men … they had no say in the matter,” the defense attorney said. “As if they had no free will, as if they had no ability to say no.”

Creary continued, “Did Ed Buck force them to do anything? No, he didn’t.”

In her rebuttal, Norell refuted Creary’s assertion that Buck’s party- and-play lifestyle was on trial.

“It is not an attack on a gay subculture,” she said. “This is about an unbroken pattern of Buck preying on vulnerable, addicted men … Buck specifically targeted people who did not have a lot of good choices.”

Norell told the jury that Pietruszka’s testimony in favor of the defense theory depended on “who is footing the bill,” and showed the panel the doctor’s testimony from a previous trial in which he contradicted what he said in the Buck case about toxicity levels of methamphetamine.

“You’d have to believe that Buck is the unluckiest person in the world — that two people would show up at his apartment and die 18 months apart,” the prosecutor said.

Outside court, Joyce Jackson, Dean’s sister, said Tuesday was ” a bittersweet, but great day. Ed Buck will never harm anyone else.”

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Gavin Elster
Gavin Elster
2 months ago

When is the greater lgbtqa+ community going to FINALLY stand-up and seriously fight this overwhelming, out-of-control methamphetamine/fentanyl/opioid epidemic that is destroying lives, families, businesses and KILLING our people, EVERY f@#$ing day?!?!?!?

Gavin Elster
Gavin Elster
2 months ago

Does anyone know WHY former O.J. prosecutor Christopher Darden, was defending Buck? And if so, how much was he paid???

Chloe Ross
2 months ago

Words to stop using: Authentic. Woke. Meta. Curate. The letter X.

Fedslam can be casual day every day and quite comfy. (As reported by people I did know who played fast and loose with the IRS) I don’t think Buck’s fedslam will quite as described below. Depends on where he is sent. I would say Leavenworth would be an adventure. And I would think he will be in adseg for his own safety (sadly). Fed inmates do most of the sentence unless they pass away.And I do believe Ed has more bodies buried.

Rodney Baer
Rodney Baer
2 months ago

That is one very bizarre and dangerous fetish. I don’t think Ed intended to kill anybody, but I certainly don’t believe he cared if he had. That fetish of his was so overpowering to him that I don’t believe any of the possible consequences meant anything at all to him. And putting somebody’s life in danger for your own gratification is just WRONG. It doesn’t matter to me if they’re black, white, wealthy, from the streets, in good health or poor health. You cannot do that to people and just go about your merry way. It’s wrong. And it’s best… Read more »

Chloe Ross
2 months ago

Ed Buck shook like a leaf when he heard the verdicts. Visibly. He also appears jaundiced.

DHT
DHT
2 months ago

So many people really just don’t get it. It was never about sex. Sure it was about addiction, but mostly it was about power and torture, and two men were tortured to death. There are quite a lot of gay men out there who enjoy torturing other men that they view as disposable, Some of them become serial killers like Port, Gacy, or McArthur. Buck clearly was one of these guys but I just don’t think he could dispose of the bodies himself. I sincerely believe these weren’t his only two murders by overdose, I just think his dealers had… Read more »

Chloe Ross
2 months ago
Reply to  DHT

I tend to agree. He didn’t just start when the two men died. He had practice. Disposal of victims would have been a huge roadblock.

Alex
Alex
2 months ago
Reply to  DHT

And the other scary fact is that he was using his money to finance democratic politicians and their agendas. This is not a good thing. Democratic Party is evil just like him.

Michael Grace
Michael Grace
2 months ago

D’Amico and Meister are as guilty as Ed Buck. I bring them up because these two closet racists are still on the West Hollywood City Council. They sat back and did nothing regarding Ed Buck’s crystal meth Death House operation on Laurel Avenue. Just demonstrating their dreary boring aging smugness. They gave nothing back of Buck’s political donations. Oh yeah, I almost forgot, D’Amico donated $25 to the boy’s funeral. Mayor Lindsey Horvath was the only one who basically did anything about trying to stop Buck’s killing operation. The other aging 4 council Members did nothing. She was attacked by… Read more »

Randy
Randy
2 months ago
Reply to  Michael Grace

Michael, please PROVE your allegations. Gross to say that, without a shred of evidence. Buck donated to everyone except Horvath, on Council, when this all went down. You have zero proof that they had any influence. Meister received $500, D’Amico, $1K. Heilman, $2K, and Duran $14K. https://www.justice4gemmel.org/dirtymoney What about the funds donated to Obama, HRC, Koretz, Schiff and Garcetti? And on and on? Are they all to blame, also? If so, PROVE it. Meanwhile, please … not every political candidate vets every donation they get. They don’t even have the time, or the resources. Lastly, a world does exist where… Read more »

Miller Marysia
Miller Marysia
2 months ago
Reply to  Michael Grace

Horvath got no money from him because she already got thousands from the 9000 Beverly Boulevard developers. She, standing with the families of those unfortunate young men is a disgrace. Horvath is more corrupt than Trump. If you can’t believe what’s standing in front of you on Beverly Boulevard-ask the folks on Rosewood Avenue about her blatantly lying to them, promising to vote against the developers. She changed her vote after driving a “new” car. Ask her where the two men are who went home to home making false promises about the entire project. They are her friends now. All… Read more »

Not authentic
Not authentic
2 months ago
Reply to  Miller Marysia

Horvath along with her compatriots Shyne and Erickson should become the subject of a Three Pack Recall and join their CD4 Councilmember Nithya Raman. All wolves in sheep’s clothing.

Horvath and Raman especially egregious because they appear to have grossly misrepresented their resumes. Easy for Horvath to present herself as her own consulting company and a consultant to other companies. While the information is there, I don’t have specific instances and have not delved into it, Traditionally it is a simple way to hide many financial transactions.

TomSmart
TomSmart
2 months ago

Lindsey P. Horvath most certainly never ever misses an opportunity to get in front of the cameras huh? It’s really sickening.

Not authentic
Not authentic
2 months ago
Reply to  TomSmart

Weho Mayor Horvath, who never misses an opportunity to present herself as “The Mayor” even though it is merely ceremonial and not elected, is forever attaching herself to others and the spotlight. Not able to function on her own merits. Not authentic. aka Jane Fonda, Ms Vagina Monologue, Mayor Pete, Mayor Garcetti, and of late Supervisor Kuehl. Always a copy, never an original.

greeneyedguy
greeneyedguy
2 months ago
Reply to  TomSmart

What the hell is this comment? Lindsey was the only person on the city council who spoke out about Ed Buck a few years ago. The victims’ families have been very outspoken about this. Here is the proof: https://www.nbcnews.com/feature/nbc-out/serial-predator-l-writer-has-been-sounding-alarm-ed-buck-n957776 “Cannick said Lindsey Horvath was the only West Hollywood council member that lent unqualified support to her efforts to further probe Moore’s death. Horvath, who stressed she has never accepted campaign contributions from Buck, told NBC News she found the Buck case “deeply disturbing” and suggested that power and race may have played a role in the investigation.” She has been… Read more »

Last edited 2 months ago by greeneyedguy
William Seegmiller
William Seegmiller
2 months ago
Reply to  greeneyedguy

Thank you to Mayor Horvath for her truly authentic dedication to this righteous cause. We love and appreciate you for it, Lindsey!

TomSmart
TomSmart
2 months ago
Reply to  greeneyedguy

I see she has her minions are lining up for her. She ALWAYS seeks the limelight and this is a FACT.

greeneyedguy
greeneyedguy
2 months ago
Reply to  TomSmart

Wait…omg a politician seeking the limelight?! Do you live on this planet?

You are gross. She has been calling for an investigation into Ed Buck for years. She has been in contact with the family ever since when NO OTHER city council person said anything.

Randy
Randy
2 months ago
Reply to  TomSmart

Yeah, your comment is sickening. She has been chasing Buck since 2017. The only Councilmember who did not take donations from Buck. Not that the others are culpable, in this case. The LA County Sheriff Department deserves the blame, because of their autonomy, and the fact that they didn’t arrest Buck on the night of the first murder. Lindsey bravely advocated for the victims.

Glenn
Glenn
2 months ago

It is not ok to kill people with their own drug addition for kicks.
It is not ok to buy your way out of justice.
It is not ok to let these things happen.

DHT
DHT
2 months ago

One down and thousands more like him to go. We will never know how many men Buck actually killed, we only know of the two that he killed after his dealers stopped helping him dispose of the bodies. How many overdoses does it take before a dealer stops helping a multi-millionaire addict? Some of the men saw who are on his 2,500 plus torture videos we now know are dead. I wonder if Buck was the last person that saw them alive? The fact that he had so many videos leads me to believe he shared them. I can’t imagine… Read more »

Jerome Cleary
Jerome Cleary
3 months ago

When you’re in your late 60’s isn’t going to Federal Prison also known as “Club Fed” like being in a free nursing home?

Randy
Randy
2 months ago
Reply to  Jerome Cleary

Hoping not. But I think you are correct. And he will probably have access to drugs, to live out his miserable life, under the influence.

Daniel
Daniel
2 months ago
Reply to  Randy

Yes, but who would let him drug them on purpose

hifi5000
hifi5000
3 months ago

There is one commenter on here who really ripped the hell out of the many local and state politicians who ran from Mr. Buck when the going got tough.Too bad the West Hollywood foursome of Duran,Heilman,D’Amico and Meister couldn’t bring themselves to turn that money back in. I think the council members didn’t think anyone was looking when they took the money from a vile contributor.Oh, but someone was looking. Mr. Duran I can understand as he is under the gun for owing back taxes to the Treasury Department,but Mr. D’Amico really took the cake on this one.Just $25 to… Read more »

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