Opinion – Daniel Levesque’s Killer is Walking Free

Joshua Tyler Bredo is on the loose. It’s been common knowledge for a few weeks.

Granted early parole, Bredo, who also goes by the alias Josh Baba, was released from Ford Mountain Correctional Centre on October 6, 2018. His victim’s family was not notified until mid-November.

Bredo murdered Revelstoke resident Daniel Levesque in Victoria, BC. Bredo had developed an obsession with Levesque. The two worked together and, over the course of a couple of months, Bredo became tangled in a web of lies in his pursuit of Levesque. When Levesque deduced Bredo had been lying to him, Bredo brutally attacked and killed him with a hammer. Bredo then used a knife to cause self inflicted injuries before calling 911. Bredo was initially thought a victim, and the efforts to have him charged took a staggering amount of time and heartache.

Bredo was sentenced for manslaughter in June of 2017. He had initially been charged with first degree murder, sexual assault and forcible confinement.

“The charge of manslaughter was the result of a plea deal,” explains Daniel’s mother, Stacey Thur. “He accepted the sentence happily.”

Thur notes that the family agreed to the plea.

“We couldn’t have stopped it,” Thur notes. “And we accepted mainly so we could end the incessant suffering we had been through with all the court delay and the fact he could not ever appeal the deal.”

Bredo’s original sentence was for nine years. After having spent the better part of five years in remand, earning “time served” at a rate far higher than the five years, in Victoria, his prison sentence was two years less a day. Bredo was given early parole after sixteen months with no parole hearing. Despite having a no contact order and being forbidden to be in the same area as them, Levesque’s family was not notified of his release.

Daniel was twenty years old at the time of his death, and had been living in Victoria for only a few months as he pursued his passion for music. He was, and is, a beloved son, brother, nephew and friend to hundreds of people in Revelstoke and beyond.

I didn’t know Daniel. I do know his mother and sister. I see the impact his life and death has had on so many residents of the community.

Let me be blunt. The point of this article is not to place blame on Corrections BC (though there was clearly a lapse in judgement with both his early release and failure to notifying Daniel’s family.) The point is to clarify that Bredo refused to own his actions until he was offered the manslaughter plea deal. Time and time again he would not accept responsibility for his actions, forcing Daniel’s family to live through the horror over and over in their attempts to see justice served.

“What he did was not manslaughter, but the courts are so very flawed this was the only guarantee he would pay some price,” says Thur. “There was, as always, a possible outcome that would be worse is he was not found guilty by a reasonable doubt.”

The previous time Bredo served, during which he feigned innocence but was culpable for Daniel’s death, can hardly count towards rehabilitation. Sixteen months of rehabilitation, the time Bredo was jailed after his plea deal, seems a small window to try and rehabilitate someone who is both a sexual predator and murderer.

Is Bredo likely to attack or kill someone else’s loved one? I don’t know. But I do think people should know who he is and what he did. Do I believe people can grow and change? Absolutely. Do I think Bredo has had a chance, or shown the inclination, to do so? No. He doesn’t deserve a fresh start. His past actions should follow in his wake.

“I want and wish for every person to hold their children (especially sons) close and teach them that not every person you meet is your friend,” says Thur. “One of my greatest regrets is not making sure Daniel knew this. I’m not sure I even knew this before his death.”

“Bredo is a coward,” she elaborates. “Be vigilant and protective and let him know you know what he is and what he has done. He deserves no peace or comfort. He has not paid his dues and despite his apology in court to us, I do not believe he is sorry. A sorrow filled man does not continue the self serving masquerade of innocence for six years all the while putting the victim’s family and friends through unimaginable pain and suffering.”

Bredo’s release is symptomatic of a flawed legal system. I don’t have the answers to how it can be rectified. I’m sure the Levesque/Thur family is not the only Canadian family struggling to come to terms with the justice mandated by the courts versus the justice they feel is deserved.

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