Authorities confirmed on Monday that Timothy Dean, found dead this January at the home of Democratic Party donor Ed Buck, died of a methamphetamine overdose.
Police found Dean dead in Buck’s home in the early hours of January 7th, after responding to a 911 call. The 55 year-old former porn star was the second black man to die of a meth overdose in Buck’s home within eighteen months.
At the time of his death, Dean was working as a fashion consultant at Saks Fifth Avenue, West Hollywood. His friends, speaking to the LA Times, said that he didn’t drink excessively and wasn’t known to take drugs.
“Sheriff’s homicide investigators are continuing their investigation into the death of Timothy Dean,” says Nicole Nishida, spokesperson for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. Investigators have conducted several interviews with witnesses and will continue to interview anyone who comes forward with information.
Buck’s attorney, Seymour Amster, maintains that Dean arrived at Buck’s home already under the influence. “We stand by our position that unfortunately, Mr Dean ingested drugs at a location other than Mr Buck’s, and he came over intoxicated, and it’s a tragedy,” he said to the LA Times on Monday.
Buck, best known for his donations to Democratic politicians as well as his animal rights and LGBT+ activism, is a former fashion model, self-described retired multimillionaire and onetime West Hollywood City Council candidate. Federal records show that he has donated more than $53,000 to Democratic candidates and campaigns since 2008.
However, he has long faced allegations of drugging and sexually preying on black men. Writer Jasmyne Cannick has been publishing accounts by his alleged victims for over a year. Cannick sees Buck as a serial predator who targets gay black men, “usually men who were homeless, HIV-positive, who were in need of food or money,” and invites them to his apartment to use or try methamphetamines.
“If another young, Black gay man overdoses or worse dies at Democratic donor Ed Buck’s apartment,” she wrote on Twitter last July, “it’s going to be the fault of the sheriff’s dept and L.A. District Atty for not stopping him when they had the opportunity to.”
If another young, Black gay man overdoses or worse dies at Democratic donor Ed Buck’s apartment it’s going to be the fault of the sheriff’s dept and L.A. District Atty for not stopping him when they had the opportunity to. #GemmelMoore #Justice4Gemmel pic.twitter.com/jlbS2KTvNe
— Jasmyne Cannick (@Jasmyne) July 28, 2018
The First Death
26 year-old black man Gemmel Moore was found dead in Buck’s home in July 2017, with a “male pornography movie playing on the television,” according to the coroner’s report.
Cannick found, upon reaching out to Moore’s friends and family, that a journal containing incriminating entries had been among the possessions returned with his body. Moore wrote of his drug addiction “Ed Buck is the one to thank. He gave me my first injection of chrystal (sic) meth,” and detailed how Buck had got him addicted to the drug.
“I ended up back at Buck house again and got manipulated into slamming again — I even went to the point where I was forced to doing 4 within a 2 day period,” he wrote in one entry.
Less than a month after Cannick and Moore’s family released pages from the journal, authorities opened a homicide investigation. However, the investigation was closed without charges in July 2018 and the death was ruled an accident. Four charges – murder, voluntary manslaughter, and furnishing and possessing drugs – were reviewed and rejected by the district attorney’s office.
In a charge evaluation worksheet dated July 26, the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office said the “admissible evidence is insufficient to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that suspect Buck furnished drugs to Gemmel Moore or that suspect Buck possessed drugs.” The document also cited an inadmissible search and seizure.
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