October 6, 2012
Sheldon Worme guilty of first-degree murderBeating death of Daniel Levesque
By QMI Agency
CALGARY - A jury convicted Sheldon Worme on Saturday of first-degree murder in the beating death of Daniel Levesque and handed him a life sentence.
The verdict was handed down Saturday afternoon after two days of deliberations.
The 29-year-old father was savagely beaten and repeatedly stabbed in the basement of his home on June 29, 2008.
Minutes after the verdict was delivered, Levesque's mother told Worme she forgave him.
In her victim impact statement, Linda Levesque spoke of her son's "great spirit of adventure," and how he was a "loyal friend who sought and found the good in people."
She detailed the nightmare that began with a "sense of horror, panic and breathlessness" in a phone call informing her Daniel was dead.
Then she looked directly at the man convicted of killing her son.
"I forgive you and I pray that this forgiveness will set you free," she told Worme.
Quietly crying in the prisoner's box, Worme, 28, locked eyes with her briefly, then hung his head down.
"I just want to say I'm very sorry for this happening," he told court when Justice David Gates asked if he had anything to say.
Two other people are before the courts, facing first-degree murder for their roles in the slaying.
In his final instructions to the six-woman and six-man jury, Gates said much of the case hinged on a statement Worme made to an undercover cop posing as a crime boss.
In the videotaped conversation, Worme told Staff Sgt. Darren Berglind he crushed Levesque's skull with a dumbbell.
But in testimony at trial, Worme said he lied to gain favour with the man he thought was the head of an organized crime group he wanted to be part of.
"The jury took two nights and three days to makes its decision -- they put a lot of thought in that. We're grateful for that," defence lawyer Tonii Roulston said outside court.
Crown attorney Cary Rodin said his heart goes out to Levesque's family, and he hopes the verdict is another step in their healing, calling Levesque's court statement "one of the most moving moments in my life."
Worme will not be eligible for parole for 25 years.