The man who last year sued Seattle Mayor Ed Murray for alleged sexual abuse — prompting publicity of similar allegations that eventually led to Murray’s resignation — died due to an accidental overdose of illegal and prescription drugs, the King County Medical Examiner’s Office reported Monday.
Delvonn Heckard died from “acute combined cocaine, opiate (heroin), Alprazolam and Diazepam intoxication,” an investigator with the office said Monday. His death was officially ruled an accident.
A year ago, when he sued the Democratic mayor, Heckard was participating in several recovery programs for years of addiction to cocaine and other drugs. His lawsuit alleged Murray repeatedly had paid him small amounts of money for sex in the late 1980s, when Heckard was a teenage addict living on the streets of Capitol Hill.
Murray has denied all of his accusers’ allegations. He resigned in September after the fifth accuser — his younger cousin — came forward claiming Murray repeatedly had raped him in the mid-1970s.
Within a week of Heckard’s death, another accuser — Murray’s former foster son, Jeff Simpson — filed a claim for damages against the city seeking more than $1 million. As with Heckard’s claim, Simpson also contends the city enabled Murray to use his public office and city resources to defame his accusers while he publicly denied their allegations last year.
City spokeswoman Julie Moore said Monday that the city has asked Simpson’s attorney for more information but hasn’t received it. The claim remains open, she said.
Cheryl Snow, Simpson’s attorney, said in separate emails that she has responded to the city and plans to file a lawsuit later this week or early next week.
Digital Access for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.