Kingsford man appeals murder conviction

CRYSTAL FALLS – A Kingsford man who was convicted of murder charges in Iron County Trial Court in May 2012 is appealing his conviction.

David Levack, 45, was sentenced for the murder of 81-year-old Joyce Johnson of Stambaugh Township.

He was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

The Michigan Court of Appeals has granted a motion by Levack’s attorney, George Mullison of Bay City, to extend time to file appellant’s brief until Jan. 10.

“The brief isn’t filed, yet,” said Mullison today. “We’re in the process of arranging details.”

Once the court brief is filed, Mullison said he would have more details on the appeal.

Joyce Johnson was found deceased in her bath tub on Sept. 27, 2011, the same day that she was scheduled to testify against Levack in a stolen property trial. An autopsy determined that Johnson died of manual strangulation.

On May 4, following a two-week trial, an Iron County jury found Levack guilty of first degree premeditated murder, first degree felony murder, first degree home invasion, and witness intimidation.

At sentencing in June, Levack argued that he did not receive a fair trial because his attorney did not have enough time to prepare for the case, the prosecutor withheld evidence from him, and the jury disregarded instructions.

“It’s not that I’m cold-hearted, it’s just that I didn’t commit this crime. I guess I’ll just have to wait for the appeal,” said Levack at his sentence hearing.

Judge C. Joseph Schwedler told Levack that the jury made the correct decision in convicting him.

“I believe that juries do the right thing,” Judge Schwedler said. “You can make all those arguments to the court of appeals, but they will affirm this decision.”

Judge Schwedler sentenced Levack to life in prison without the possibility of parole on the murder charges, 20 to 40 years in prison on the home invasion charge, and 20 to 30 years in prison on the witness intimidation charge.