The day her 20-year-old son Daniel Jordan Levesque died, Stacey Thur had been texting back and forth with him and could sense his anticipation about what was happening in his life.
He had travelled to Victoria from his home in Revelstoke with aspirations of making a career out of his music, his mother said. He was a largely self-taught musician and was especially talented as a guitarist and singer, she said.
He told his mother he was looking forward to an orientation session that day for a job at a law firm and was preparing for a move to a new home.
“He just said to me how excited he was and how everything was coming together,” Thur testified Wednesday on the first day of the B.C. Supreme Court trial of Joshua Tyler Bredo, accused of her son’s murder.
Holding back tears, Thur said Levesque told her he would let her know how the day went, “so it was weird when I didn’t hear from him right away.”
Instead, the events of Aug. 3, 2011, ended in Levesque’s death.
At the time, police said Bredo had called 911 from his Cormorant Street apartment about 5 p.m. Both men were taken to hospital, Levesque died there.
Bredo, 26 at the time, was charged with second-degree murder, a charge that was stayed in December 2011 due to a lack of evidence.
After further investigation, a charge of first-degree murder was sworn against Bredo in December 2012. Charges of sexual assault and unlawful confinement were added in 2013.
Bredo, who has been in custody, has pleaded not guilty to all charges. His case is being heard by Justice Malcolm Macaulay in front of a six-man, six-woman jury, and could take up to seven weeks.
In her opening statement, Crown prosecutor Paula Donnachie told the jury that Levesque moved to Victoria in June 2011.
She said Levesque first met Bredo when he responded to a sign about a job vacancy posted at a downtown 7-Eleven that Bredo managed. “He hired him on the spot,” Donnachie said.
Levesque and Bredo became close friends, she said. Messages exchanged between Bredo and other people made it apparent that Bredo “was falling hard for Daniel.”
Bredo told Levesque about a job at a law firm that was supposedly owned by Bredo’s mother. But the law firm did not exist, Donnachie said.
He also offered Levesque a free trip to Cuba that he claimed was already paid for, but no trip was ever booked, she said.
During their investigation, police searched a computer and found that the user had been looking for information about how to “knock someone out cold,” Donnachie said.
Thur, who still lives in Revelstoke, testified that the last time she saw her son in person was July 31, 2011, when they met on the Lower Mainland. The two were in contact almost daily, either by text or by phone, said Thur, who had a group of about 10 supporters in the courtroom’s public gallery.
For a time, Victoria seemed like a good place for her son, Thur said.
“He wanted to start fresh and spread his wings, he felt Victoria was a good place to do that.”