Southern California

Death of Man Who OD'd at Prominent Democratic Donor's Home Under Review by Prosecutors

Gemmel Moore, 26, was found dead at Ed Buck's West Hollywood home last year

Homicide detectives have closed a second investigation into the death of a man at the West Hollywood home of a well-known Democratic Party donor.

Gemmel Moore, 26, died on July 27, 2017 inside the Laurel Avenue apartment of Ed Buck, who has denied he had a role in Moore's methamphetamine overdose.

The findings are now in the hands of prosecutors who will decide if there's enough evidence for criminal charges.

"A case was presented to our office by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department," said LA County District Attorney's Office spokesman Greg Risling. "It remains under review."

The death was initially classified as accidental, according to the LA County Coroner's Office, but Moore's family and friends said they suspected foul play after reading entries in Moore's journal and reviewing text messages and emails exchanged between Moore and Buck.

One email showed Buck had sent Moore an airplane ticket to travel to Southern California the day before Moore's death, and journal entries said Moore had used drugs with Buck.

"Ed Buck needs to be stopped. He needs some help, and he needs to be stopped. I just want you guys to please, put pressure on whoever needs pressure," Moore's mother LaTisha Nixon, told the West Hollywood City Council last year during an appeal for a renewed homicide investigation.

The Sheriff's Department has not revealed if any new information was developed during the second investigation.

"Investigators from Homicide Bureau began a review on this case in an abundance of caution, due to the circumstances of Gemmel Moore's death," said spokeswoman Nicole Nishida.

"The case is still under there review and a decision of any criminal culpability on the part of Ed Buck has not yet been made," she said.

The LA County Coroner's Office said Wednesday it had not changed its determination that Moore's death was accidental, and Moore's defense lawyer said that showed no crime had taken place.

"This was an unfortunate situation, this was a tragedy," said attorney Seymour Amster. "But it does not justify accusing an innocent man of things that did not happen."

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