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Originally published Wednesday, July 17, 2013 at 9:35 PM

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Ex-Vegas prosecutor found dead after drug sentence

A former prosecutor-turned-fugitive who handled the high-profile drug cases of Paris Hilton and Bruno Mars was found dead Wednesday in his Las Vegas home, his lawyer said.

Associated Press

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LAS VEGAS —

A former prosecutor-turned-fugitive who handled the high-profile drug cases of Paris Hilton and Bruno Mars was found dead Wednesday in his Las Vegas home, his lawyer said.

David Schubert, 49, had completed a five-month stint in prison for crack cocaine possession in April. He was found sitting in his truck in his home's garage with the windows rolled down, according to his lawyer and friend Lou Schneier.

The Clark County coroner's office declined to comment.

Schubert spent 10 years as a Clark County prosecutor, including a stint as a liaison to a federal drug task force. He resigned in 2011 after he was arrested with $40 in rock cocaine and an unregistered handgun in his car.

He fled to Mexico to avoid jail but returned to the U.S. He told a judge he felt he had been treated exceptionally harshly.

He expected mandatory probation and a chance to wipe the felony conviction from his record. But the judge refused to consider a plea deal, calling Schubert "a disgrace to his oath as a prosecutor and a lawyer" and declaring that he wouldn't get special treatment.

Schubert told the Las Review-Journal in a jailhouse interview that he felt singled out.

"I did what I did, and I accept the consequences," he said. "But I don't feel I was treated fairly by the system."

He was isolated for his own safety in prison because of his history as a prosecutor. Schneier said that may have contributed to Schubert's poisoning sense of injustice.

The ex-prosecutor missed a check-in with his parole officer last week, Schneier said. His phone had been turned off for at least a week, possibly because he couldn't afford the bill.

After a few visits to Schubert's home, parole officers finally entered early Wednesday and found the body, Schneier said.

"I saw warning signs," he said. "Dave was extremely angry and despondent over the way he was being treated. It cost him his dignity, his law license, and finally, his life."

Schubert's sentence contrasted with those of the people he helped prosecute. Both Hilton and Mars made plea deals and avoided jail time.

The ex-prosecutor is survived by a 15-year-old son and 14-year-old daughter who live with their mother in another state.

Schneier said the last time he spoke to his client was several weeks ago, after a text message fight.

"He called and told me let's just stop this because he loved me like a friend," Schneier said.

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Hannah Dreier can be reached at http://twitter.com/hannahdreier.

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