CRYSTAL FALLS - Murder suspect David Levack testified in his own defense on day seven of his scheduled two-week jury trial.
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.
Levack was the last witness called for the defense. When asked by his attorney Dan Jaspen for his side of the story, Levack had plenty to say.
According to Levack, he was indeed in the area around Johnson's home about two weeks before her death and the weekend before her death. He even spoke to Johnson outside by her mailbox on the first occasion, he said.
Levack testified that he was in the area to photograph a woodpecker in order to win a bet with his friend Paul Schewe. He said that he had only seen that particular woodpecker in the area around Johnson's home when he used to work for her in 2009.
Levack added that he would not have been in that area after dark, as he had once encountered wolves in the area.
Levack testified that on Sept. 26, 2011, he went to Crystal Falls in the afternoon for an emergency motion hearing on the stolen property case. After that, he went back to the Iron Mountain-Kingsford area, then went out to Florence to pick up a friend, he said.
He testified that he was never in Iron County on that evening.
As for the phone records, Levack testified that the TracFone that made calls to Johnson, Levack's mother, Levack's brother, Levack's neighbor, and Levack's friend on the evening of Sept. 26 belonged to Schewe. Levack explained that he had asked multiple friends to contact his family for him, as he was having trouble contacting them himself.
Levack then mentioned the metal lock for Johnson's sliding glass door that was found on a table in Johnson's dining room. On Tuesday, Sgt. Wade Cross of the Iron County Sheriff's Department testified that he believed someone removed the lock in order to gain entrance to Johnson's home on the night of the murder.
Levack testified that the lock had been off of the door since 2009. He said that he knew this information because he removed the lock himself after Johnson's husband, who suffered from dementia, accidentally damaged the lock.
About the stolen property case, Levack claimed that he was "100 percent confident" that he would have been acquitted. He testified that Johnson's description of the stolen jewelry and the jewelry that he pawned were inconsistent.
Jaspen then asked Levack if the stolen property case gave him a motive to kill.
"I did not kill Joyce Johnson," said Levack. "I had nothing to do with it, I didn't want it done - I loved that lady."
For more details, see Thursday's Daily News.