LOCAL NEWS

Ed Murray accuser Delvonn Heckard has died

Feb 16, 2018, 11:29 AM | Updated: 3:49 pm

Multiple sources confirm to KIRO Radio that Delvonn Heckard — the man who sued former Seattle Mayor Ed Murray last year, alleging he was sexually abused by the politician — is dead.

Heckard’s attorney, Lincoln Beauregard, said his legal team confirmed the death with Heckard’s next of kin Friday.

“I do feel there is a lesson to be learned from Delvonn Heckard’s life in that he’s a wonderful person,” Beauregard told KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson. “Wonderful people like him come in all shapes and forms and segments of society. The courage it took for him to step forward, I personally consider him a hero.”

Beauregard also tweeted Friday:

Tweet from Lincoln Beauregard:

“Every time that I did talk to him, I took great pleasure in telling him how proud I was of him,” Beauregard said. “When I said I was proud of him, it meant that I was proud of him for stepping up and speaking truth to power. Just as much as I was proud of him, and I am proud of him, for fighting the battle with addiction … so many of us have our own challenges in different ways. Sometimes it’s drugs, sometimes it’s something else. For him to wake up every day, going through trying to fight off those demons, without a support group, with his parents gone, and of course this other stuff, I was so proud of him.”

RELATED: Murray accuser Jeff Simpson tells his story

The King County Medical Examiner’s office confirms that a man by the name of Delvonn Heckard, 47, died in Auburn on Feb. 16. The cause and manner of death is pending.

“I’d say that the takeaway would be just to learn how hard it is for people in Delvonn Heckard’s shoes; for people who have not had an experience like that … to understand what they are going through,” Beauregard said. “And to hopefully have a heightened understanding and sensitivity to it so that … if you know someone in Delvonn Heckard’s shoes, help them get connected to help or be their friend.”

Heckard allegation, lawsuit

Heckard’s lawsuit, filed in April 2017, kicked off a storm of allegations against Murray. A total of five men, including Murray’s own cousin, came forward with similar stories from when they were minors. Murray did not run for reelection and ultimately resigned from office in September after the fifth allegation emerged.

Heckard initially dropped his first lawsuit against the mayor. He was going through treatment for drug addiction at the time and wanted to complete his program before dealing with court appearance. He filed a new lawsuit in October 2017 against Murray, the City of Seattle, and some city leaders. The city settled that case for $150,000 in early 2018.

Beauregard would not get into details about what happened with the settlement, but did say that it was under the purview of a trustee.

“Delvonn had the wisdom; as an attorney if he said ‘Give me all my money,’ I have to do it,” Beauregard said. “But he was amenable to, and agreed to have some protections in place — I won’t go into details — but the story is not that he got a huge settlement and did what he did. There were actually protections in place.”

Murray denies allegations

Murray continues to deny the allegations. In 2017, he claimed that they were merely the product of a politically-motivated, right-wing conspiracy to discredit him and his work as mayor.

“That was as hard, or harder than what had happened years ago,” Beauregard said. “Time does heal some wounds, and everybody deals with things differently. But when you are talking about these kinds of wounds, being used sexually … sitting back and to know that you were painted as a liar about something that was already painful to you, I think it was as painful to him as anything.”

Dori Monson on KIRO Newsradio 97.3 FM
  • listen to dori monsonTune in to KIRO Newsradio weekdays at 12 noon for The Dori Monson Show.

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Ed Murray accuser Delvonn Heckard has died