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Man who accused former Seattle mayor Ed Murray of sex abuse found dead

February 19, 2018  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Man who accused former Seattle mayor Ed Murray of sex abuse found dead

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On Friday, a 47-year-old man who filed a lawsuit against former Seattle Mayor Ed Murray over sexual abuse claims that ended Murray’s political career was discovered dead in a motel room.

Delvonn R. Heckard died in the suburb of Auburn, located outside of Seattle, the King County Medical Examiner’s Office revealed.

The cause and manner of Heckard’s death are still unclear.

Auburn Assistant Police Chief Bill Pierson said that law enforcement and firefighters responded to a room at the Auburn Motel after receiving reports of an apparent drug overdose in a middle-aged black male, according to The Seattle Times.

Pierson, who declined to verify that the has been identified as Heckard, said emergency personnel unsuccessfully tried to resuscitate the man. Investigators interviewed a witness and discovered “some medication in the room, as well as some illicit drug paraphernalia,” he added.

Heckard had been recovering from drug addiction when he sued Murray in April, claiming Ed Murray had repeatedly paid him for sex in the 1980s when he was a teen.

After Heckard filed his suit, two other men alleged that Murray sexually abused them when they were teenagers in Portland in the 1980s.

Murray rejected the allegations and then a fourth man came forward, also insisting that Murray paid him for sex when he was younger.

Murray was serving his first term as mayor when he resigned in September after his cousin, Joseph Dyer, became the fifth man to accuse Murray of child sexual abuse decades ago.

Heckard said last year that his father’s death and his efforts toward sobriety caused him to come forward with the allegations against Murray. As the lawsuit progressed, he took part in counseling and recovery programs and enrolled in classes at Seattle Central College. He intended to become a chemical-dependency counselor.

Heckard had dropped and then refiled his lawsuit, which included the city as a defendant, contending that the city had permitted Murray to use his political office to slander Heckard and others for months as the mayor rejected the allegations. The city settled with Heckard in December for $150,000.

To date, Heckard was the only accuser to pursue legal action.

“A hero died today,” Heckard’s attorney, Lincoln Beauregard, said on Twitter on Friday.

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