The families of two Black men who were found dead in prominent Democratic donor Ed Buck’s home may finally see some measure of justice after Buck was arrested on Tuesday following the overdose of a third man in his West Hollywood apartment.
Currently, the political donor is facing serious felony charges of maintaining a drug house, battery causing serious injury, and administering methamphetamine.
“I remain deeply concerned for the safety of people whose life circumstances may make them more vulnerable to criminal predators,” Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey said in a statement. “With this new evidence, I authorized the filing of criminal charges against Ed Buck.”
Prosecutors are throwing the book at Buck, recommending that bail be set at $4 million, saying that Buck was a “violent, dangerous sexual predator” who “mainly preys on men made vulnerable by addiction and homelessness.”
According to the motion filed by prosecutors, Buck used “narcotics, money and shelter” to entice victims into his home where “in a position of power, Buck manipulates his victims into participating in his sexual fetishes.”
The motion added that these actions “led to the death of two men in Buck’s apartment, Gemmel Moore and Timothy Dean.”
“The defendant’s predatory acts and conscious disregard for human life must be stopped,” the motion insisted.
The January death of Dean, 55, who also died from a meth overdose, was initially ruled accidental, though authorities noted at the time that they were still investigating the matter as they continued interviews with “individuals who have come forward to provide information.”
Dean’s death also brought back suspicions surrounding the July 2017 death of 26-year-old Gemmel Moore, who also allegedly died of an accidental methamphetamine overdose.
Both men died in Buck’s West Hollywood home, and Buck was present at the time of both deaths.
Dean’s death reignited calls for justice, and in February, Los Angeles activists delivered a petition, signed by tens of thousands of people, demanding a thorough investigation into the Democratic donor.
According to CBSLA, the families of Moore and Dean were both relieved that Buck is finally being apprehended, although with some disappointment that it took so long.
“It’s unfortunate that it’s taken a third overdose for the [Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department] to finally act,” Hussain Turk, the attorney representing Moore’s family said. “We believe that the third overdose could have been avoided. We believe that the death of Timothy Dean could have also been avoided had they taken the death of Gemmel Moore seriously.”
If convicted, Buck could face up to five years and eight months in prison.