Monday, July 12, 2010

The strange tale of a dead baby, a stripper and testimony from a dead man

The Toronto Star reported an unusual story today about the trial of ex-stripper Ivana Levkovic, who allegedly gave birth to a baby in her home and either allowed it to die or actively caused its death.

Her roommate, Mark Hinds, whom Levkovic's attorney says was her pimp, appeared at a police station and recounted his version of events to detectives, claiming the mother drowned the baby in a toilet.

What is particularly unusual (not that everything about this story isn't) is that Hinds died a year after making his video statement to police. Now a judge has to determine if that video can be used as evidence in the trial.

The video is below. I'm not sure what went on, but if I were the judge, based on what I saw in it, I wouldn't allow it as evidence.

Aside from the obvious reason that the tape can't be cross-examined, there are other factors of note. Early in the interview, the lead detective says he has to stop the tape to get something and will return. When the interview resumes, the time code indicates over an hour has since passed. In that intervening time, elements of the late Mr. Hinds' version of events seem to have altered from their first telling.

It also seems apparent that the detective had spoken to Hinds off camera, because he refers to elements that the detective said Hinds told him before that he needed to repeat.

The defense alleges that Hinds made up his version of events to exact revenge against Levkovic.

I have no idea what the truth is. This seems like yet another awful tragedy that  the police and courts have to contend with.

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