Suspect in Swansea killing ordered held
FALL RIVER, Mass. —
A Swansea man accused in the shooting death of a 23-year-old woman was ordered held without bail Monday.
Timothy Levesque, 56, was arraigned in Fall River District Court on charges of murder and assault and battery.
"I don't know that gentleman. I just know my daughter is in heaven and I love her and I miss her, and we'll do everything we have to do to get you justice," said Melissa Trottier, who grieved for her daughter, Melissa White.
Levesque is accused of shooting White to death on Ocean Grove Avenue in Swansea at about 1:30 a.m. Sunday.
Police said before the shooting, White and two of her friends went to Levesque's home to continue a dispute that took place between those friends and one of Levesque's sons earlier in the night.
"Mrs. Levesque reports that she saw people in the driveway wearing bandanas, crouching down. Mr. Levesque has a license to carry. He obtained his gun and went outside," said defense attorney John Francoeur.
By that time, Levesque saw tail lights leaving. He followed and eventually caught up to the vehicle and stopped it. He confronted White and her friends, hitting one of them, Jacob King, who was driving.
That's when White got out to confront Levesque.
"Mr. Levesque backed up. He took out his firearm. Miss White was heard to say, 'What are you going to do, shoot me?' And then a shot was fired," prosecutor Dennis Collins said in court.
Levesque's attorney said the shooting was self-defense, because White lunged at him with a crowbar and that he immediately called his wife to call for help.
"Mr. Levesque's words to his wife were, 'I had to shoot somebody. Call 911,'" Francoeur said.
A large number of White's relatives were in court for Levesque's arraignment, as her uncle put it, looking for justice.
"We're hoping the judicial system is as good as we claim it is and the right justice gets done for our family," Leo Trottier said.
White's friends denied she had a crowbar. The police report said officers recovered a foot-long cat's paw tool from the scene.
Levesque is a retired corrections officer and the father of a Swansea police officer.