Family Blames Hotel Exec for Woman’s Death

     LAS VEGAS (CN) – The family of a woman who died of a drug overdose in a hotel executive’s condo has filed a $645 million wrongful death lawsuit, claiming the man plied the girl with cocaine and Oxycontin that caused her death. Michelle Hatchel’s family says Morgans Hotel Group COO Edward Sheetz, who oversaw the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, flew the 23-year-old Denver woman to Las Vegas in August 2007 and gave her the drugs.

     The woman was found dead in Sheetz’s rented condo on Aug. 29, 2007. Sheetz resigned the next month, citing “personal issues,” according to a company news release.
     “Sheetz was an individual who lived a hedonistic lifestyle involving himself, with his employer’s full knowledge and consent, with multiple sexual partners, often at the same time, and the consistent and voluminous use and abuse of the controlled substance cocaine” and oxycodone, according to the federal complaint.
     Hatchel’s mother, Kim Hatchel, along with her grandmother and brother, say the Hard Rock knew about and bankrolled Sheetz’s lifestyle, and that its marketing strategy targeted patrons who sought a “hedonistic sexually permissive and promiscuous lifestyle.”
     They claim that Sheetz lied to police about Hatchel’s whereabouts the night of her death, and that he had sex with her at 9 a.m. before he left for work.
     They also accuse Sheetz of transferring assets shortly after the woman’s death to hide his net worth, in anticipation of a wrongful death suit.
     Hatchel and Sheetz met at a Denver nightclub in 2005 and had a brief intimate relationship, according to the complaint.
     Hatchel was a freshman at Columbine High School, but moved to Texas two months before several friends were killed in the Columbine shootings.
     “These losses affected her for years, as the Defendant Sheetz well knew when he lured her into his wild, hedonistic mixture of cocaine and sex on Morgans Hotel Group Co. corporate private jet for a weekend,” the lawsuit states.
     The complaint alleges that Sheetz sent Hatchel several pornographic emails in the days before she died, including one with “a photograph of himself having sexual intercourse with a female in a pink bathing suit with his hand around her neck strangling/choking her and she doesn’t look like she likes it.”
     The family is represented by Michael Amador.

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