The mother of Daniel Levesque doesn’t believe a pathologist’s report that states her son died of a drug overdose.
“He just coincidentally happened to OD after being hit on the head with a hammer? It’s just totally absurd,” Stacey Thur told the Times Review last Wednesday. “People that know Daniel know that’s not who he was.”
Thur was reacting to an article by Victoria Times Colonist reporter Louise Dickson that shed light on what happened on Aug. 3, the night Levesque died following an altercation in a Victoria condo.
Joshua Bredo was charged with second degree murder in connection with Levesque’s death but on Dec. 9, the charges against Bredo were stayed due to lack of evidence to support a conviction. The investigation is ongoing.
Dickson was in court in Victoria on Mar. 12 during an application by the Crown to retain items seized as evidence during the investigation of the condo where Levesque and Bredo were found following the altercation. The information in this article comes from Dickson’s article that appeared in the Times Colonist last week.
According to Dickson’s article, Crown prosecutor Rome Carot read out an affidavit by RCMP Const. Margo Downey.
According to the affidavit, Bredo called 911 at 5 p.m. and told police he had been stabbed in the stomach, arm and head. When police arrived at the scene they found both men in the living room – Levesque was face down on a couch and Bredo was lying on his back on the floor. They were taken to Victoria General Hospital where Levesque succumbed to his wounds.
According to the autopsy by Dr. Carol Lee, Levesque had two circular wounds on the back of his head – consistent with being struck by a hammer. However, on Dec. 8, Lee’s report concluded that Levesque died from cocaine toxicity. The next day, the charges against Bredo were stayed.
“Police are concerned that the pathologist relied on incomplete, inaccurate and unsubstantiated information, the affidavit says,” Dickson reported.
The autopsy report states that Bredo said Levesque freaked out and assaulted him. According to the affidavit, Bredo’s description was unsubstantiated and there were also questions about the level of cocaine in Levesque’s blood at the time of his death.
“I believe Dr. Lee was either unaware of, or disregarded, a number of elements of this investigation which could support the theory that Levesque’s death was a homicide,” writes Downey.
The affidavit cited statements by two witnesses who said they heard an altercation in the apartment before police arrived, a description of Bredo’s stab wounds as “superficial” and a description of the scene that Levesque’s face was “buried in the pillow and blankets.”
“The investigation team is considering retaining another pathologist to provide a more comprehensive pathological report, says the affidavit,” Dickson wrote.
The Times Review has been unable to obtain a copy of the affidavit that was read from in court. The Victoria court register said the affidavit was not filed with the court.
“The affidavit you’re looking for is nowhere on the court files and it wasn’t filed as an exhibit so the only way you’d be able to obtain that is through the Crown,” said a court employee.
Neil Mackenzie, the spokesperson for the Victoria Crown office, said it could not be provided due to confidentiality reasons.
Crown prosecutor Carot said he did not feel comfortable sending out the affidavit, even though he read it in court. Affidavits typically become publicly-available documents after they have been presented in court. Carot did confirm that the information in Dickson’s article was accurate.
Stacey Thur said the article in the Times Colonist was the first she heard of what happened the night her son died.
“I was devastated for the obvious reasons but also because I wished I would have been told before,” she said. “Why they released it to the public before telling me was absurd.”
According to Dickson, provincial court Judge Ernie Quantz said he was not prepared to release the items to Bredo’s defence lawyer Ryan Drury without more information. Quantz said he wanted to know how the items – jewellery, clothing cell phone, keys and Blackberry – were relevant to the investigation and how long police would need them. The application hearing is set to resume in court on Wednesday, Mar. 21.
No new charges have been laid against Bredo.
Thur said she was going to be in Victoria that day to meet with investigators, but she was unsure if she would attend the hearing.