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New review sought in investigation of musician's death

Aug 17 2012

The Vancouver Island Integrated Major Crime Unit wants to use a new pathologist as it continues to investigate the death of Revelstoke musician Daniel Jordan Levesque in a Cormorant Street apartment last year.

Investigators, concerned by the original autopsy report, believe it is necessary for an independent pathologist to review the findings.

On Monday, Victoria provincial court Judge Adrian Brooks granted a Crown application to hold on to items seized from Joshua Bredo, who was originally charged with second-degree murder of the 20-year-old Levesque. Charges were stayed against Bredo in December because there was not enough evidence to support a conviction.

Brooks gave primary investigator RCMP Const. Margo Downey until Dec. 8 to hold on to Bredo's BlackBerry, shirt, jeans, ring and bracelet. The Victoria provincial court granted a similar Crown application in April allowing investigators to hold on to evidence until Aug. 15.

In her original affidavit to the court, Downey wrote that Bredo called 911 at 5 p.m. on Aug. 3, 2011, to say he had been stabbed in the stomach, arm and head. When police arrived at the Cormorant Street apartment, Bredo was on his back on the floor. Levesque was face down on a couch. Both men were taken to Victoria General Hospital, where Levesque died.

During the autopsy, pathologist Dr. Carol Lee told police that Levesque had been struck twice on the back of the head. The injuries were circular, consistent with being hit with a hammer.

On Dec. 8, Lee's report on the death said that Levesque had died from cocaine toxicity. The next day, the Crown stayed the charges against Bredo.

Downey's original affidavit said police were concerned that the pathologist relied on incomplete, inaccurate and unsubstantiated information.

In her new affidavit dated Aug. 2, 2012, Downey said she received an additional report from Lee stating the principal cause of Levesque's death was "consistent with cocaine toxicity in the setting of physical trauma."

Although investigators initially believed the new report would be sufficient to determine Levesque's cause of death, Downey said she now believes it is necessary to hire an independent pathologist.

"I am in the process of retaining an independent pathologist and anticipate this will require approximately four months to complete," Downey said.

The officer also said she had received a report from the technological crime unit showing text messages from Bredo's BlackBerry were deleted just before police were called.

ldickson@timescolonist.com

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