Reaction to death of Dr. Bourne

andrewbourneThe day after the tragic death of Dr. Andrew Bourne of Mammoth Lakes, his attorney, Ron Bamieh of Ventura County, stood up for the innocence of his client. He told Sierra Wave that he believes a Santa Barbara detective “misconstrued the evidence.  The girl never said she had sex with him and Dr. Bourne denied it,” said Bamieh. This question will never be publicly answered.  Dr. Bourne has died, and the case is over.

Mr. Bamieh had called Bourne Tuesday morning to tell him he thought the case against him was “defensible” and that the allegations “appeared to be exaggerated.”  Bamieh said he told Bourne he was optimistic about his case.  The attorney also said that Bourne was frustrated by news coverage of his case.

Bamieh is quoted in the Los Angeles Times as saying that “I believe these charges led to his suicide.  The charge of this crime is so life-altering,” said Bamieh.  “Dr. Bourne could not deal with the fact that everyone assumed he was guilty.”

Bamieh said a few hours after the Tuesday morning conversation with Bourne, he became concerned for Dr. Bourne’s well being and began to make phone calls to try to locate him.  A press release from Bamieh’s law firm says that from about 1:30pm to 3:45pm, a search for Bourne was being conducted with Mr. Bamieh’s assistance.

The release says, “At about 3:30pm, the company who monitored the GPS device on Dr. Bourne’s court ordered ankle bracelet called Mr. Bamieh and provided Dr. Bourne’s location.”  The release said that Bamieh conveyed the information to Dr. Bourne’s family and friends who rushed to the location where they found him.  They notified authorities. The Mono Sheriff’s Office verified that Bourne was found on Hot Creek Hatchery Road.

Attorney Bamieh said he then notified the Santa Barbara District Attorney’s Office.  Bamieh said that in the time he knew him, he found Bourne to be “an intelligent and gifted man, who had done so much good throughout his life.”

Bamieh also said that he regrets “not being alert enough to understand what Andy was thinking when we spoke.  I tried my best to prevent this tragedy but unfortunately my efforts were not enough.” The attorney said he hopes with time that people will view the life of Andrew Bourne with some perspective not clouded by recent claims.

The Mono Sheriff’s Office continues to investigate the cause of Dr. Bourne’s death.  An autopsy is scheduled for Friday in Orange County. KEYT News in Santa Barbara has reported that sources told them Dr. Bourne took his own life by injecting drugs. Local sources have privately reported the same story.

Meanwhile, local reaction and sadness continues.  This statement came from Mammoth School District and Superintendent Rich Boccia:

“It is with great sadness that we mourn the passing of Dr. Andrew Bourne who tragically lost his life yesterday afternoon.  We wish to express our condolences to the family and would ask that we all keep them in our prayers.”

Mammoth Hospital CEO Gary Boyd issued this statement:

“We are all shocked and saddened to hear of the tragic death of Dr. Andrew Bourne.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family, friends, staff and colleagues at Mammoth Hospital.  Dr. Bourne was an excellent physician and friend to many. He will be greatly missed.

I have contacted the Sheriff’s office to let them know that Mammoth Hospital will cooperate in any way with their investigation of the circumstances surrounding Dr. Bourne’s death.”

And local residents have established a fund for the Bourne family.  This email was circulated:

“A fund for the benefit of Gilann Bourne & Family has been set up at the Eastern Sierra Community Bank in Mammoth Lakes.  In lieu of sending flowers, contributions may be made to “FBO Gilann Bourne & Family” (Account # 5015553) and dropped off or mailed to:

Eastern Sierra Community Bank
307 Old Mammoth Rd.
PO Box 5069
Mammoth lakes, CA  93546
ATTN.  Yvonne Martin

A Celebration of Life Ceremony for Andrew Bourne, MD will be held Saturday, February 4th from 2-4pm at the Shady Rest Park pavilion. In honor of Andy’s love for skiing, the outdoors, and the mountains, all are encouraged to meet at the Mammoth Visitor’s Center at 1:30 to  participate in a community cross country ski thru the park to the pavilion. Ski time is approximately 20 minutes thru easy terrain.  If skiing is not an option, limited parking is available at the Shady Rest Parking lot. We encourage all who have been touched by Andy’s life, talents, and energy to join us.

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20 Responses to Reaction to death of Dr. Bourne

  1. Ken starr January 10, 2014 at 8:23 pm #

    I’m sad to hear this news. Andy was a friend of mine in Oregon,
    He was a great doctor and a good friend. Very sad

  2. jose chavez January 29, 2012 at 8:31 am #

    there have been many media outlets reporting this story since it broke thru. Sierra Wave has bee the only one responsible and professional enough to keep the story as vivid and straight foreward as can be. Thank you Sierra Wave. This is tragedy, in every angle.

  3. BishopOldie January 27, 2012 at 6:09 pm #

    Just for the record, Dr Bourne did not lose his job with Mammoth Hospital- the only reason I bring this up at this point is that I believe Mammoth Hospital’s CEO, Gary Boyd, has behaved compassionately and respectful towards Dr Bourne as well as the community during this whole tragic string of events. Dr. Bourne was put on administrative leave so he could deal with his court case and still be able to come back if found innocent. One more thing mis-represented in the papers. And I do believe there is something to be learned from this- don’t believe everything you hear or read.

    • Benett Kessler January 27, 2012 at 6:45 pm #


      The full story on the doctor’s position at Mammoth Hospital, according
      to officials there, is that the Medical Staff granted him a leave of absence,
      however the hospital terminated his contract because he could not fulfill the terms.
      Benett Kessler

  4. Big AL January 26, 2012 at 9:47 pm #

    Good one Bennet

  5. David M. January 26, 2012 at 8:19 pm #

    Whatever Happened To Innocent Until Proven Guilty

    The very important legal precept of being considered innocent until proven guilty seems to be disappearing from our society. It is disappearing in favor of gossip, “news”, and web hits (driven by advertising dollars). It is disturbing to see two previously well-regarded men portrayed as child-molesters with no chance for them to put forth any defence in the court of public opinion, but instead being presumed guilty before they can properly argue their defence in a court of law.

    From being photographed in court after several days incarceration wearing orange prison jump-suits, unshaven and generally unkempt – they are immediately portrayed as despicable human beings who deserve nothing better. Imagine if it was you – would you look any better after a few days in a filthy jail cell? Why does the court system allow these photographers to take a picture that is then used in such a prejudicial fashion? Why are they not allowed to clean up, shave and dress nicely before being displayed in front of the public in court? I’ll tell you why – because the prosecutors can strengthen their case by building up prejudice from the very beginning. That is not justice.

    Dr. Andrew Bourne was a giving, caring, and thoughtful man his entire life, and within a few days he was accused, found guilty in the court of public opinion, fired from his well-deserved job, and his life’s reputation ruined by a prosecutor out to gain points for his/her career. I don’t know whether he was guilty or not, but I do know that he deserved better treatment than this.

    Finally, who exactly has this all served? A man’s life has gone. His wife and children will grieve forever over his loss. The alleged victim who apparently loved him (or at least thought she did) will blame herself forever, and probably even hate her own parents for “rescuing her”. Whether there was any inappropriate activity or not is now immaterial. The young girl’s life is probably more ruined through all the publicity and after-effects than any inappropriate incidents than may or may not have occurred.

    The prosecutor, media outlets, and prejudiced public who contributed to the dead-end alley that Dr. Bourne found himself in should all be ashamed of themselves.

  6. Big Rick O'Brien January 26, 2012 at 7:13 pm #

    For what it’s worth, I for one, am glad that Sierra Wave changed the photo when the news of his death became public. No winners here…

  7. Jake Green January 26, 2012 at 2:37 pm #

    Benett, I wish you would just disable the blog feature on this website if you insist on censorship. I am interested in reading EVERY post no matter how silly it is.

    • Benett Kessler January 27, 2012 at 10:50 am #

      We will post “silly” comments but not libelous ones or those which attack with hate.
      Benett Kessler

    • Harry January 28, 2012 at 4:05 pm #

      Jake, you can disable it yourself by not visiting the site!

      Without someone monitoring what is posted this blog would become like a gas stations bathroom wall.

      You are doing right Benett, thank you for providing this form and for making it a civil caring place to visit.

  8. Benett Kessler January 26, 2012 at 2:27 pm #

    To those who would send posts that insist on Dr. Bourne’s guilt in the charges against him, we choose not to publish those comments now as we chose not to before Dr. Bourne’s death. Continued speculation likely does not lead to any truth.

    Benett Kessler

    • Marie Boyd January 26, 2012 at 10:41 pm #

      Thanks Benett, very responsible journalism.

      • Sierra dog January 27, 2012 at 9:13 pm #

        Thanks Benett for protecting us from other people’s opinion.

  9. kaat January 26, 2012 at 9:06 am #

    To any younger person reading about the death of Dr. Bourne – please know that taking your life if things are bad is NEVER the answer…..I know from tragic experience that life can be very, very, very hard at times, but if you reach out and talk to someone….anyone….they can show you how valuable your life is, how much you mean to other people, how much your LIFE does matter in the world….everyone’s life is important….you can ask someone to stay right by your side until life does turn around – don’t be alone when you are hopeless – you can think some crazy thoughts when left to your own guidance sometimes. Life always turns around and begins to get better – I have experienced the light on the other side of a horrific situation and you can too – always!

  10. Jake January 26, 2012 at 7:43 am #

    Death by the Media and DA…. Shameful I plan on never going to SB again.

    • kaat January 26, 2012 at 10:15 am #

      I am sorry Jake, but neither the DA nor the Media can kill a person….and not everyone in SB is horrible.

      ….again, we all have choices to make in life, and LIFE is always the answer, no matter how much emotional pain we happen to be experiencing in the moment….it WILL get better and there is always someone to turn to for help and support…always!

  11. Wayne Deja January 25, 2012 at 10:47 pm #

    This whole story is sad for everyone involved…But like the story says..”Dr.Bourne has died and the case is closed”……Publicly,no more info will come out on allegations,guilty or not guilty,what happened or didn’t happen between the Doctor and the young girl,etc.People I personally know that had dealings with Dr. Bourne have nice things to say about him…very professional and,seemingly a very good doctor. At this time,if his Lawyer,Ron Bamiah…in Ventura County..starts making allegations,and placing blame with “misconstrued evidence”by detectives,or starts blaming the news media for coverage as a reason to why he chose to end his life,it isn’t going to do him,his legacy,or his family any favors.

    • Bee January 26, 2012 at 4:38 pm #

      @wayne, well Bourne’s lawyer said this case is sir, sadly, this case is definitely not over- with the investigators still here in Mammoth and more frightening information is predicted to be released, i am heartbroken for all 3 families.

      Thank You Sierra Wave for keeping us informed

      • Wayne Deja January 27, 2012 at 11:13 am #

        Bee….If investigators are still in Mammoth Lakes,it’s probably directed at Mr.Walker now. I doubt the detectives are gonna put out anymore info with anything to do with Dr.Bourne unless it’s going to also involve Mr.Walkers case and his charges…

        • Bee January 28, 2012 at 5:36 pm #

          right @wayne. indeed, it is all connected.


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