Second day of Kimmirut man’s murder trial brings witness accounts

Victim and accused were playing poker on night of incident

The second day of a second-degree murder trial for the death of Levi Michael brought three witnesses to testify about what happened the night and early morning of May 14 and May 15, 2020. (File photo)

By Nunatsiaq News

Brandon Lyta’s murder trial moved into its second day on Wednesday with testimony from witnesses.

Lyta, who is from Kimmirut, is charged with second-degree murder in death of Levi Michael in Iqaluit. Lyta was 23 years old at the time of the incident.

The judge-only trial is set for two weeks at Iqaluit’s Nunavut Court of Justice, and is presided over by Justice Neil Sharkey.

The Crown called three witnesses to the stand, the first being RCMP Cpl. Tammy Lobb. She was stationed in Iqaluit at the time of the incident, which happened in the early morning of May 15, 2020.

Lobb said the RCMP received a call from a taxi driver at 2:33 a.m. The driver told RCMP he had driven a man to the hospital who had been stabbed.

The man, who would later be identified as Levi, died from his injuries that night in hospital, Lobb said.

Later in the morning, RCMP went to Levi’s address to search for evidence, Lobb said. Outside the building, they found a pool of blood and a butcher knife that had no blood on it.

The Crown’s second witness, Philip Ningeogat, 36, said he was hanging out with Levi during the day and night of May 14.

By the evening, two other people came to Levi’s place. Ningeogat identified one of them as Lyta.

Ningeogat said Levi, Lyta and another person played poker and were drinking, but that he did not participate himself since he was playing video games.

He said he was not paying much attention to it, but there was an argument over beers between Lyta and the other man and that Levi was trying to stop the argument.

Ningeogat later told police in a statement that Levi told Lyta to leave, and Lyta left.

He testified Levi left five minutes later, and that he seemed agitated but calm.

Ningeogat said he thought Levi was going out to smoke, but when he went outside to check five minutes later, Ningeogat could not see him.

The third witness, John Michael, 20, said Lyta came to his house at approximately 3:19 a.m. on May 15. He said when Lyta arrived, he told John that he was getting jumped so he stole beer, weed and $300 to $400 from Levi’s place.

John testified Lyta only identified Levi as one of the people in the clash that night. He added that Lyta also said he was hit by a crowbar and pan, and that Levi chased him with a harpoon.

John said he told Lyta to leave his house, but when he woke up later that morning Lyta was still there. Soon after waking up, John said that he heard Levi was dead. He asked Lyta if he did it, and Lyta said no.

Photos of Lyta taken by investigators soon after the incident were then presented in the court. The photos showed cuts and bruises on Lyta’s left arm.

The trial continues Thursday.

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(1) Comment:

  1. Posted by I Hafta Know on

    Who is the “other guy” that they don’t identify… For some reason.


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