One week after Ed Buck was found guilty on all nine of the federal counts he was charged with, Stepin and Fetchit aka Christopher Darden and Ludlow Creary II are at it again. They have filed a Motion for Judgement of Acquittal on behalf of their client Ed Buck.
A motion for judgment of acquittal says that the evidence at trial was insufficient for a conviction. In other words, Ed Buck’s attorneys are going to argue that no reasonable jury could possibly find guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
To recap, Buck had been charged with two counts of distributing methamphetamine that resulted in the death, four counts of distributing methamphetamine, one count of maintaining a drug premises, and two counts of enticement to travel for purposes of prostitution.
Some of the evidence presented to the jury included the greatest hits from 2,400 of Ed Buck’s photos and videos showing him torturing men, pressuring men to smoke and inject meth, sexually assaulting unconscious men, and grooming men. The jury was also presented with DNA evidence, Buck’s text messages, and financial records. Of course, the most damning evidence was the witnesses who testified.
Sexual grooming is a preparatory process in which a perpetrator gradually gains a person’s or organization’s trust with the intent to be sexually abusive. The victim is usually a child, teen, or vulnerable adult. In Ed Buck’s case, the victims were vulnerable adults.
In federal criminal trials, all verdicts must be unanimous.
Buck was found guilty on not one, not two, but ALL nine counts.
So what is the argument for why judge Christina Synder should vacate the jury’s decision?
Creary is continuing to use the AIDS defense. In his motion, he wrote, “The government’s evidence has shown that Gemmel Moore died of pulmonary edema brought upon by complications of HIV/AIDS. This is confirmed by the findings of defense expert Dr. Marvin Pietruszka, that Mr. Moore was suffering from full-blown AIDS. His mother testified that the last time he was in Texas he looked like he had AIDS or cancer and that he’d had seizures. His health was also compromised by chronic methamphetamine abuse.”
Sigh. They just won’t stop it with the AIDS defense.
First, the government’s evidence did not show that Gemmel Moore died of pulmonary edema brought upon by complications of HIV/AIDS.
Second, Dr. Marvin Pietruszka was pretty much impeached on the stand. The man didn’t even know what AIDS stood for when asked by the prosecution. He also was paid somewhere in the neighborhood of $15,000 to say what the defense wanted him to say. So there’s that.
Also, what is full-blown AIDS? Is that like being a little bit pregnant? You either have AIDS or you don’t. Adding the words full-blown is ignorant on behalf of the Defense and is only meant to stigmatize the disease with the Court.
The Defense is also continuing its assertion that Timothy Dean died of advanced heart disease combined with the effects of alcohol intoxication–and not all of the meth that was found in his system.
As to why Ed Buck shouldn’t be found guilty for distributing methamphetamine, they’re arguing that the testimony of “drug addicts” shouldn’t be believed and that the videos and photos only show the victims “smoking what appears to be methamphetamine” and not Buck giving it to them.
So basically, these men, most of whom had no money and were homeless, had the money to buy meth though and just choose to come to Ed Buck’s apartment to smoke or inject that meth.
I don’t recall a single witness that testified that they were in love with Ed Buck, loved Ed Buck, liked Ed Buck, or were dating Ed Buck.
What I do recall is testimony about men being homeless and broke and needing money that Buck was offering with strings attached.
The Defense is also claiming that the Prosecution didn’t prove that Buck was using his apartment to distribute meth.
Every photo and video we say had the same tired ass couch, mattress, and dining room table. Not to mention the testimony of Buck’s own neighbors.
As it relates to the two counts of enticement to travel for purposes of prostitution–he bought the plane tickets with the expectation that the individuals would engage in party and play.
PnP or party and play — also called “chemsex”— is a subculture of drug use that occurs while having sex. PnP has been widely associated with gay men and with men who have sex with other men, although it spans sexual preferences.
The Prosecution has until August 10 to file their response to the motion and then Judge Synder will set a date to hear arguments or issue a ruling sans an in-person hearing.
So I’m going to need L.A. County District Attorney George Gascon to be ready to pick up the mantle if for some reason the judge grants Buck’s motion to vacate the jury’s verdicts. It’s unlikely though.
Jasmyne Cannick is an award-winning journalist, political strategist, and popular television and radio commentator on race, politics, and social issues.
She’s been covering and chasing Ed Buck since August 2017.
You can read her previous coverage of Ed Buck, including the trial here.
Cannick founded Justice for Gemmel and All of Ed Buck’s Victims to extend her advocacy for the survivors and victims of Ed Buck beyond her journalism, leveraging both her political acumen and savviness with her community relationships.
Follow her on Twitter @Jasmyne for real-time updates.