Ed Buck, a disgraced Democratic donor who swamed in elite social circles for decades, was convicted on Tuesday of luring men to his home to satisfy a “party and play” fetish that led to the deaths of two people.
Buck, 66, was convicted of all nine charges against him, including supplying the methamphetamine that killed two Black men in his West Hollywood apartment: Gemmel Moore, a 26-year-old who died in July 2017, and 55-year-old Timothy Dean, who died in January 2019. Buck was also found guilty of distributing methamphetamine, maintaining a drug den, and enticing Moore and another man to travel to Los Angeles for prostitution.
The verdict, which was reached in less than five hours, means Buck now faces life imprisonment in what some activists feel is a belated measure of justice for a man they say was protected by sympathizers in the government. And it brought an end to a trial so lurid and so disturbing that the judge talked openly about the potential trauma for jurors—as opposed to just witnesses and victims.
Throughout the two-week trial, prosecutors argued that Moore and Dean’s deaths were the result of Buck’s twisted fetish for injecting men with high doses of meth, sometimes to the point of their passing out. His obsession with “party and play” encounters led Buck to exploit the vulnerable—mostly Black men—to come over to his house for money, prosecutors said.
“He would find desolate, vulnerable victims and push meth on them over and over… until they went unconscious,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Lindsay Bailey said during her closing arguments on Friday. “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.”
Buck’s legal team claimed that Moore and Dean had underlying medical conditions, and slammed prosecutors for trying to make their client “look like a racist” master manipulator.
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