For six years Stacey Thur’s life was filled with courtrooms, trial dates and navigating a life between Revelstoke and Victoria.
Joshua Bredo’s guilty plea to manslaughter in the 2011 death of Thur’s son, Daniel Levesque, in a Victoria condominium means that chapter of her life has now come to a close. Thur is looking forward to finding healing and closure, but says it’s difficult to know where to begin.
“It’s been a long time and a long fight too. It’s partly why it’s been so devastating. I don’t really know a life any different,” she said. “It was one thing to lose Daniel but then to not have any kind of real closure until now is a really long time. It shouldn’t be like that.”
Thur’s other two children, Lainey and Joel, were 12 and 15 when Levesque was killed. They are now almost 18 and 21.
“That was a huge span in their life where everything was always hanging in the balance,” said Thur. “When I went to the trial that resulted in the mistrial I was gone for eight weeks. Thankfully my daughter who was still in school at the time was able to stay with her dad. My son came with me, but he put off university. He put off so many things to settle this for his brother.”
Bredo’s recent guilty plea also means Thur and the rest of the family won’t have to endure another trial in Victoria.The recent introduction of a new law known as the Jordan Decision means there is now a 30-month cap between the time of an arrest to the end of the trial.
“So our constitutional right is we have the right to a speedy trial, but there’s never been a number on those months. We were way past that number. We were at real risk this year in going to trial in October, which is when we were meant to be going to trial, of having it all thrown out because of the Jordan Decision,” said Thur.
Thur said she wishes more people knew about the Jordan Decision because she feels no one should have to go through what she and her family have.
“I think going forward it’s a really good law so the court system and the lawyers and everybody gets on the same page and gets it through the courts in a speedy manner,” she said. “Not just for the constitutional rights of the accused, but also for us because it was absolute agony. No family should have to be dragged through that for so long.”
Thur said she also wishes more people knew about Bredo’s past history, and wonders if her son’s relationship with Bredo would have been different had he known.
“In Daniel’s case they couldn’t use his previous mistakes because he was never convicted of anything. A court of law can’t use it unless it’s an identical crime,” she said. “If Daniel had known before, I don’t think that would have changed their friendship necessarily.”
As a mother, Thur said she sometimes struggles with looking back and wondering if she did enough to prepare Levesque for life in a big city.
“I think I felt a lot of blame myself for perhaps not preparing him for the big world. Which I realize I shouldn’t do because I don’t know how I would have done it otherwise,” she said. “Having said that when he was in Revelstoke he was kind of a big deal. He worked at both grocery stores at one point in his life. He worked at Main Street Cafe. He knew a lot of people, so when he’d be walking down the street he’d be waving at a lot of people, saying hi. Everybody knew who Daniel was.”
Thur described her son as a being a good kid with a good heart.
“He wasn’t perfect but he truly was one of those people on this earth that just you couldn’t help but love him. He was kind, he was generous, and he was sweet and he was intelligent and loyal to a fault. I always say that because he really was,” said Thur. “Daniel was just such an embracer of life and an embracer of love.”