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Coroner rules Nancy Quon’s death a suicide

The death of construction defects lawyer Nancy Quon, the target of a sweeping federal investigation of Las Vegas Valley homeowners associations, was ruled a suicide Thursday.

Clark County Coroner Michael Murphy said Quon, 51, died of drug and alcohol intoxication.

Alprazolam, an anti-anxiety drug found in Xanax, and Zolpidem, found in sleeping medications such as Ambien, were in Quon’s system, Murphy said. The coroner declined further comment.

Quon’s body was discovered in the bathtub of her Henderson condominium on March 20. Investigators found an empty bottle of red wine in the home.

Five days later, the body of attorney David Amesbury, who pleaded guilty and was cooperating in the homeowners association investigation, died of an apparent hanging at his brother’s property in Grass Valley, Calif. The coroner there expects to release a cause of death by mid-July.

The federal investigation focuses on a massive scheme to take over nearly a dozen homeowners association boards and steer lucrative legal, construction and community management contracts to the conspirators. So far, 26 people have pleaded guilty to federal charges, and one more is set to enter a plea next week.

Henderson police, who are investigating Quon’s death, refused to comment Thursday. Police have not said whether a suicide note was found in her condominium at The District.

The circumstances surrounding Quon’s death are similar to an alleged suicide scheme involving the high-profile attorney in 2010. The plot involved a mysterious fire at Quon’s Rhodes Ranch home.

Quon, who made millions as a pioneer in the field of construction defect law, and her boyfriend, ex-police officer William Ronald Webb, were charged in what police alleged was an arson at the two-story home.

In January, a Clark County district judge dismissed the indictment against the couple, but prosecutors appealed to the Nevada Supreme Court.

Police had alleged that Quon set fire to the home in a botched suicide attempt to escape the pressure of the federal investigation.

Quon and her lawyers consistently maintained before her death that she didn’t set her home on fire and never tried to kill herself.

She hired publicist Mark Fierro, a former television reporter, to help make her case with members of the news media.

But Quon also acknowledged taking sleeping pills and a high-alcohol energy drink before settling in her bathroom tub before the fire.

She was rescued from the smoke-filled home by Webb’s older brother, Daniel, who found her unconscious on a downstairs sofa.

Paramedics who revived Quon told a county grand jury that they think she suffered a “narcotic overdose.” No suicide note was found at the time.

Investigators suspected Quon participated in another drug suicide plot days after the fire when Webb obtained gamma-hydroxybutyric acid, a club drug known as GHB, from undercover Las Vegas detectives.

Both Quon and Webb, 43, who is behind bars, were charged in the drug deal in a separate case, which was not dismissed.

Contact Jeff German at jgerman@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-8135.

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