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Iron County Sheriff’s sergeant presents prosecution’s evidence

May 2, 2012
By NIKKI YOUNK - Staff Writer , The Daily News

CRYSTAL FALLS - Sgt. Wade Cross of the Iron County Sheriff's Department guided jurors through the remainder of the prosecution's evidence on day six of the murder trial against David Levack.

Levack, 45, of Kingsford faces felony counts of open murder, felony murder, home invasion, and witness intimidation for allegedly killing 81-year-old Joyce Johnson of Stambaugh Township before she could testify against him in a stolen property trial on Sept. 27, 2011.

On Tuesday, Iron County Prosecutor Melissa Powell allowed Sgt. Cross to explain the phone records that had been obtained in the case.

Article Photos

Sgt. Wade Cross, center, guides members of the jury through phone records displayed on a computer monitor. Also pictured are Judge C. Joseph Schwedler, left, and Iron County Prosecutor Melissa Powell.
Nikki Younk/Daily News Photo

Sgt. Cross testified that the last call received on Johnson's landline was from a cell phone at 9:03 p.m. on Sept. 26, 2011. The call lasted about three minutes.

Investigation into that particular cell phone determined that it was a TracFone that was activated on Sept. 22, 2011 and last used at 11:40 p.m. on Sept. 26, 2011.

Sgt. Cross testified that the same TracFone also made calls to and received calls from Levack's mother Doreen Chastain, Levack's brother Dan Levack, Levack's former neighbor Lex Johnson, and Levack's friend Randy Lincoln.

"Levack is the common denominator among those people," said Sgt. Cross. "We believe it (the TracFone) was his."

Also, Sgt. Cross testified that the calls to and from the TracFone were hitting off various cell phone towers throughout the evening of Sept. 26. Calls up through 7:46 p.m. were hitting off the Iron Mountain tower, calls up through 9:03 p.m. were hitting off of the Florence, Wis. tower, and calls after that time were hitting off of the Long Lake, Wis. tower.

Powell pointed out that the murder scene is in the coverage area of both the Florence and Long Lake towers.

During cross examination, Levack's attorney Dan Jaspen argued that the TracFone did not belong to Levack, since there were several calls between the TracFone and one of Levack's cell phones.

"Why would two phones associated with David Levack be making calls to each other?" Jaspen asked.

Jaspen also questioned why investigators did not obtain information on all of the phone numbers that made calls to or received calls from the TracFone.

In addition, Jaspen disputed the ranges of the cell phone towers. He said the information would be a fact for the jury to decide.

Sgt. Cross then moved on to possible points of entry into Johnson's home. He testified that he found a metal lock for a sliding glass door resting on a table in Johnson's dining room. Although the table was dusty, there was no dust on the lock, said Sgt. Cross.

"Someone would have needed to enter the residence beforehand - maybe when she (Johnson) was at church on Sunday - in order to remove the lock from the interior," Sgt. Cross explained.

Previous witnesses testified that they saw Levack in the area around Johnson's home on Sunday, Sept. 25. Levack told investigators that he was bird-watching on that day.

During cross examination, Jaspen asked Sgt. Cross if there has been any evidence presented in court that definitively placed Levack in Johnson's home around the date of the murder. Sgt. Cross said no.

Powell wrapped up her case just before 3 p.m. Tuesday. Jaspen then started calling witnesses.

John Kivisaari, who was Levack's court-appointed attorney in the stolen property case, testified that he had discussed the possible outcomes of that case with Levack.

According to Kivisaari, if Levack was convicted in the stolen property case, he probably would have spent a year or less in the Iron County Jail.

Iron County Sheriff's Department Deputy Ryan Boehmke testified about his interview with Brian Krause while Krause was incarcerated at the Florence County Jail.

Previously in the trial, Krause testified that he overheard Levack and a mutual friend, Lori Juneau, discussing details of Johnson's murder.

Jaspen pointed out that in the Krause interview, Krause first claimed that Levack and Juneau were using "we" statements. Krause later claimed that Levack was using "I" statements. Jaspen theorized that the "we" statements could mean that Juneau was involved.

Juneau then took the stand. She testified that she never had a conversation with Levack regarding the murder, and she never traveled with Levack to Iron County.

Jaspen will continue to call witnesses today.

Nikki Younk's e-mail address is nyounk@ironmountaindailynews.com.

 
 

 

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