A jury selection process began Wednesday in the trial of Ed Buck, who is accused of killing three people and attempting to kill a fourth in an overdose-related crime spree through West Hollywood in 2014.
(CBSLA) – LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – In the federal trial of renowned Democratic political contributor Ed Buck, who is accused of supplying methamphetamine to two men who overdosed and died in his West Hollywood apartment, jury selection started Tuesday in downtown Los Angeles.
On September 19, 2019, Ed Buck appears in L.A. County Superior Court for arraignment. (Getty Images/Al Seib/Los Angeles Times) )
Buck, 66, faces nine felony charges, including two counts of distribution of dangerous drugs that result in death. He is suspected of selling methamphetamine, which led to the deaths of Timothy Dean, 55, in January 2019 and Gemmel Moore, 26, in July 2017.
He is also charged with operating a drug ring in his own state, but the federal case is taking priority.
On the courtroom steps Tuesday morning, alleged victims, their families, and friends staged a press conference.
Dean’s sister Joyce Jackson told reporters, “We’re here for justice, not only for Timothy Dean, but also for Gemmel, and it still hurts.” “I pray all the time, and I hope I could wake up from this nightmare, and Tim is still alive. However, it is simply a fantasy of mine that will never come true. So, although it is a sad day, it is still a wonderful day. We’ve come to ensure that my brother receives justice.”
Buck, according to prosecutors, had a “fetish” for paying Black males to let him to inject them with methamphetamine while they were unconscious. According to a trial memorandum, Buck enticed vulnerable, homeless homosexual men who were addicted to drugs or working as escorts to his Laurel Avenue apartment, where he supplied narcotics in return for sexual activities.
The murders of Dean and Moore sparked anger in the community.
Buck was initially arrested in September 2019 on separate allegations of injecting a 37-year-old man with a high dosage of meth and operating a drug house out of his apartment, according to the L.A. County District Attorney’s Office.
Local officials decided that there was insufficient evidence under state law to prosecute Buck in the murders of Dean and Moore, according to then-L.A. County DA Jackie Lacey. They did, however, have additional legal alternatives under federal law. A federal grand jury indicted him in the murders of Dean and Moore in October of 2019.
Buck is accused of intentionally luring Moore to Los Angeles to participate in prostitution and then supplying him with crystal methamphetamine before he died from an overdose.
Buck is charged with a second count of enticing a different man to travel with the intent of engaging in prostitution, one count of knowingly and intentionally distributing methamphetamine, and one count of using his West Hollywood apartment to distribute narcotics like methamphetamine and sedatives like gamma hydroxybutyric acid (GHB) and clonazepam.
Buck “made methamphetamine syringes in a ritualistic manner” at the flat, according to the letter, and “some victims indicate that he forced them to see him do it.”
Buck reportedly paid individuals he occasionally recruited from online gay male dating and escort sites to take drugs he supplied and conduct sexual activities during “party and play” sessions, according to the memo.
Buck is represented by Christopher Darden, who is most known for being a member of the prosecution team in O.J. Simpson’s murder trial.
Each of the two counts of distribution of prohibited drugs resulting in death carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years if convicted. The study will last about ten days.
(CBS Broadcasting Inc., Copyright 2021, All Rights Reserved.) This article was written with the help of City News Service.)