Spanish report: Levene hanged self in cell
Updated 10:43 am, Friday, January 27, 2012
The death of the man being held in a Spanish prison on charges of killing a Westport jeweler last month was a suicide, according to a report on a Spanish news website Friday.
Andrew Levene, 41, a former West Haven resident, hanged himself with bed sheets Wednesday in a cell that he shared with another prisoner at the Modelo prison in Barcelona, according to an account on the website of El Pais, a national Spanish newspaper, quoting its judicial sources.
The paper said a judge has opened an investigation into the circumstances of Levene's death. The report also quotes its sources as saying that Levene did not show any outward signs that he planned to take his life during interrogation after he was taken into custody Tuesday by Spanish national police.
Levene, a former Army Ranger, was being held on charges of fatally shooting Yekutiel Zeevi, the 65-year-old owner of Y.Z. Jewelry at Compo Shopping Center in Westport, and wounding one of Zeevi's business associates the night of Dec. 8 before fleeing with about $300,000 in diamonds.
He was facing federal murder, robbery and firearms charges. U.S. authorities had said they would seek his extradition to stand trial on the charges in federal court in Connecticut, but it was not clear whether Spanish authorities would agree to turn him over because of its extradition treaty that appears to block such transfers to a nation where a suspect could face the death penalty.