Delvonn Heckard, one of the men who accused former Seattle Mayor Ed Murray of sexually abusing him when he was a teenager, was found dead in a Washington motel room on Friday. He was 47.
Heckard was found dead in the Seattle suburb of Auburn, Washington, from causes the King County Medical Examiner’s Office said are yet to be determined, according to the Seattle Times.
Auburn Assistant Police Chief Bill Pierson said paramedics were called to the motel on February 16 for an apparent drug overdose. Pierson added that medics were unable to revive the man and that police found “some type of medication in the room, as well as some illicit drug paraphernalia.”
Heckard led a troubled life and had been in recovery for addiction to cocaine. He soared into the news after suing Seattle’s mayor in April 2017. Heckard accused the mayor of abusing him sexually and paying him for sex in the 1980s.
Murray faced several other accusers, and, eventually, the social justice champion resigned from his office over the growing scandals.
Last year, Heckard insisted that his fight with his addictions as well as his father’s death made him go public with his accusations against Mayor Murray and file a lawsuit against the city.
Heckard filed, then soon dropped his lawsuit. He then refiled, adding the city of Seattle and claiming the city allowed the mayor to slander him and others during the many months Murray used his office to deny the allegations. The city settled in late December, promising Heckard a payout of $150,000, two-thirds of which Heckard had recently received.