This isn’t the first time that William Levea has been charged with murder.
The 79 year old Fulton man fought a murder charge more than 40 years ago and was found not guilty.
Levea is accused of murder and is sitting in jail in Cayuga County without bail for allegedly ramming his car into the vehicle of a man he did not know. The man’s truck eventually went out of control along Route 370 near Cato and slammed into another car. The crash killed the truck’s driver, Christopher Spack. Police think Levea may have rammed another vehicle not long before that.
On December 23, 1966, police say he and James Egan got into a fight at Lakeview Lanes in Fulton. Police allege Levea hit Egan with a bardstool or chair and then kicked him in the neck or head. Egan died.
A year and a half later, Levea’s trial began in Oswego County Court in Pulaski before Judge Don H. Stacy. It took two pools of 50 jurors each to seat a jury. District Attorney John Murray was opposed by two top lawyers — Eugene F. Sullivan, Jr., member of a prominent local family, and Paul Shanahan. Shanahan would gain notoriety years later for defending accused killer Cynthia Pugh in Onondaga County.
The jury ultimately found Levea not guilty of murder but guilty of felony assault. He was sentenced to probation. The judge apparently rejected the DA’s argument that Levea was a second offender, deserving of a harsh sentence. Levea had been sentenced to Attica State Prison after a conviction on three counts in February, 1964. A newspaper account of the time does not mention what the three offenses were.
After the murder trial ended, Egan’s widow immediately sued the bowling alley on behalf of the couple’s five eleven children, according to newspaper clippings archived at FultonHistory.com.
(See correction on the number of children in the comments, below.Ã‚Â We are happy to correct the record.Ã‚Â News accounts of the lawsuit listed only five children as plaintiffs, along with their mother.)