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Once-successful prosecutor was brought down by anger over sentence and alcohol, ex-girlfriend said

Posted Jul 22, 2013 4:40 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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A drinking problem, financial woes and anger at the Nevada judge who had handed down a prison sentence he considered unfair all may have played a role in the death of a former Clark County prosecutor whose body was discovered in his home—and a note found nearby—last week.

Celebrities that former chief deputy district attorney David Schubert prosecuted, including Paris Hilton and Bruno Mars, got probation for similar drug offenses. But Schubert, who had been the county's top drug prosecutor, was himself given nine months last year after pleading guilty to possessing a $40 rock of crack cocaine, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports.

Before he got out of jail in April, an ex-girlfriend who was a former colleague of Schubert's in private practice sought a family court protective order. In her application, she said Schubert was ruining both their lives with his drinking and his obsession about appealing his case and not letting the sentencing judge "win," among other issues. “The entire relationship was plagued by insanity and madness,” she wrote. “I feel he is still angry at the world because of the outcome of his case.”

She and a former supervising partner of Schubert, when he was in private practice, sought to get help for him, to no avail.

A prior marriage ended in divorce in 2005, and Schubert had refinanced what was once his family's home after his wife moved out of the area with their children. He kept up with the payments until he lost his $118,000-a-year prosecutor's job after being charged with cocaine possession. Eventually, he lost the larger home he purchased in 2009 to foreclosure. Although no official determination has yet been made, it appears that he had been dead in the home since perhaps late June.

Schubert earned his legal degree in 2001 from the William S. Boyd School of Law at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, and is remembered by professor Mary Berkheiser as a dedicated and compassionate student who participated in her juvenile justice clinic. In retrospect, she wonders if working as a prosecutor was the right job for the man who was such a fierce advocate for the rights of his young clients there.

“David was such a decent, good man who made me proud to have been a part of his life at Boyd," she wrote in an email to colleagues after his death. "I want us all to remember him completely and take what lessons we can from his life both here at Boyd and beyond."

See also:

ABAJournal.com: "Former Top Drug Prosecutor Gets 9 Months in Crack Case; Judge Calls Prior Probation Deal ‘Offensive’"

ABAJournal.com: "Parole officers find body of former Paris Hilton prosecutor"

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