San Francisco Medical Examiner autopsy reveals Jeff Adachi cause of death as acute mixed drug toxicity

ByDan Noyes and Khaled Sayed KGO logo
Saturday, March 23, 2019
SF Medical Examiner autopsy reveals Adachi cause of death as acute mixed drug toxicity
According to the San Francisco Medical Examiner report, Public Defender Jeff Adachi's cause of death was cocaine and alcohol toxicity, with heart disease as a contributing factor.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- It's been one month since San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi died, and late Friday we learned Adachi had cocaine in his system.

Exactly one month ago, on a Friday night, paramedics found San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi unresponsive on the floor of this Telegraph Hill apartment. They shocked him multiple times, were able to get a slow pulse for a few seconds, before it was lost.

Adachi was transferred to California Pacific Medical Center where a doctor pronounced him dead.

A woman listed only as "Catalina" told investigators that she spent the day with Adachi. At some point, they had some cannabis edibles, had "a glass or two of champagne with dinner" and that he ate well before complaining of severe stomach pain. So, they went back to that apartment.

Catalina called 911, and then Adachi friend Susie Kurtz, using his phone.

The autopsy concluded, "The cause of death is acute mixed drug toxicity with cocaine and ethanol, with hypertensive atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease as a contributing factor."

It also said, "At some point, most likely during the dinner, his already compromised heart could no longer sustain the amount of cardiac stress caused by these stimulant substances and became ischemic with death resulting a few hours later."

The report also said the syringes found at the scene "were consistent with medical therapy".

Adachi's death has been ruled an accident. We reached out to the new public defender, Mano Raju. His office saying they would have no comment, out of respect for Adachi's family. He leaves behind a wife and daughter.

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