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Roll of money found in murder victim's pocket

Ambulance attendants tried to revive Alex Levesque with a defibrulator even though the North Bay man appeared to be dead, a jury heard Tuesday.
Ambulance attendants tried to revive Alex Levesque with a defibrulator even though the North Bay man appeared to be dead, a jury heard Tuesday.

Levesque's badly beaten body was found July 29, '02, in a second-floor apartment in a Sturgeon Falls house on Levesque Street.

Jason Richard Tessier, 30, of Sudbury, is on trial, and has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder.

A jury of six men and six women heard testimony Tuesday from Carl Drolet, a paramedic with the West Nipissing Ambulance Service.

Victim badly bruised

Drolet and his partner were dispatched to the house because of a call stating someone had fallen off a balcony there.

They found Levesque's body in a sitting position on the kitchen floor, his back against a cupboard and his head slumped "practically on his chest," Drolet said.

Levesque's chest was bare and he was clad only in vinyl tear-away track pants and sport sandals, Drolet said.

A combination of sputum and blood was drooling out of Levesque's mouth, and a large pool of blood six to eight inches in diameter was near him, Drolet said.

Dead or close to dead

There were also multiple bruises around Levesque's mouth and eyes, and cuts to the back of his head, Drolet said.
Levesque's chest was also bruised and he had a bluish mark around his abdomen, Drolet added.

One mark on Levesque's torso looked like a boot toe, Drolet said, "because you could see the tread."

Drolet's partner began trying to revive Levesque with chest compressions and artificial respiration, Drolet said, but there was no response.

There were no vital signs or pulse, Drolet said, and Levesque's lips were blue.

"He didn't have typical fall injuries," Drolet said.
"His condition was telling me he was dead or close to dead."

Wad of money found

But while Levesque's pupils were fixed and dilated, the corneas hadn't dried over, Drolet said, something that happens soon after death.

Drolet and his partner began defibrulating Levesque, but stopped after three attempts when nothing happened.

Police arrived on the scene and asked Drolet if he had found any identification on the body.

"I had felt a hard lump in the pocket and thought it might have been a wallet, but when I retrieved it it turned out to be a very large roll of money," Drolet said.

He immediately handed it over to a police constable.

Didn't look too healthy

Earlier Tuesday afternoon the jury heard from Sue Damis, of Sturgeon Falls, whose son Richard had been living in the Levesque Street apartment at the time.

She testified her son had come to see her and said that someone at his apartment had fallen off the balcony.

When she went to the house, she found Levesque's body in the position described by Drolet.

"His face and cheeks were all swollen," Damis said.
"He didn't look too healthy."

Video tour of murder scene

During testimony Tuesday morning, an Ontario Provincial Police constable testified finger and palm "impressions" lifted from a door and a washing machine belonged to Tessier.

Justice George Valin and the jurors were given a video tour of the apartment narrated by Mike Cruikshank, a senior identification constable with the OPP Forensic Identification Unit, in North Bay.

Stains which appeared to be blood were evident in the apartment's kitchen.

Crown attorney Paul Larsh then showed photographs of
a door leading out to a patio from the apartment, and the washing machine with its lid propped open.

Prints a match

Cruikshank said police found "friction skin" prints on the door's glass, and a partial palm print on the washing machine.

Last October, Cruikshank testified, he went to the North Bay Jail and took finger and palm prints from Tessier.

When he compared the impressions to those taken from the Sturgeon Falls apartment, Cruikshank found the palm print "shared the same source. The left palm of Mr. Tessier made both impressions."

Cruikshank testified he wasn't sure about the finger impression though, and reexamined it "extensively" in July.

"That's when I realized it was made by the left middle finger of Jason Tessier," Cruikshank said.

When prints were made unknown

Defence lawyer Andrew Buttazzoni asked Cruikshank if he could estimate when the palm and finger impressions were made.

Cruikshank said only that they could have been made anytime
before he had arrived on the scene.

Buttazzoni also asked if any blood was found in the palm print.

"No sir," Cruikshank said.

The trial is expected to last three to four weeks.