A federal judge in Los Angeles handed wealthy political donor Ed Buck a 30-year prison sentence Thursday for his part in two overdose deaths at his home.
Buck, who preyed on young, vulnerable Black men in Los Angeles, injected two of his victims with fatal amounts of methamphetamine, prosecutors said.
The 67-year-old was originally convicted in July of nine felonies, including sexual assault and drug distribution charges.
On Thursday, his lawyers asked the judge to hand down a sentence that would give Buck the possibility of one day being able to walk free from prison. Prosecutors argued he should be sent to prison for the remainder of his life.
U.S. District Judge Christina A. Snyder chose the latter, delivering the 30-year prison term.
The sentence served as both a punishment and a way to protect the public from further harm, the judge said in her ruling.
In 2019, deputies were called to Buck’s home in West Hollywood after the body of Timothy Dean, 55, was discovered there, the second death at the house in less than two years. That prompted investigators to reopen and re-examine a 2017 case involving the discovery of 26-year-old Gemmel Moore’s body at the prominent political donor’s home.
He would eventually be convicted of providing the fatal doses of methamphetamine in both cases.
“It’s clear that there’s a pattern and a practice of Ed Buck to prey on vulnerable, young Black gay men who are homeless, who are HIV positive, who he can manipulate with his money — and they end up dead inside his house,” activist Jasmyne Cannick said at the time.
“No matter what Ed Buck’s attorney tries to spin it and say — it is very clear that Ed Buck plays a role in these young men’s deaths. He needs to be stopped.”
Buck was known as a champion for lesbian, gay and bisexual and transgender rights, and donated thousands of dollars to Democratic Party candidates.
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