Wrongfully Accused & Wrongfully Convicted
The Scales Of Justice Are Unbalanced
All donations go towards continued support of Sebastian and Investigative efforts
Maria Levy, by all accounts was an amazing person. Those who knew and loved her felt a great privilege to be considered her friend. She had a wonderful sense of humor, a love of the arts and an ability to listen with her heart.
She loved the opera and worked at opera companies in San Diego, Connecticut, Pittsburgh Opera (twice!), the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music Opera & Ballet before becoming the Artistic Administrator of the Tacoma Opera.
She was authentic, honest and patient. She was a friend to many and impacted people’s lives with her good nature.
She came to Tacoma in 2012 to be with her son and her two grandsons. Here she became an integral part of her son and grandson’s lives. She was the pillar of strength Sebastian relied upon. He admired his mom and loved her without reservation.
There cannot be justice for Maria until it is recognized that she did not raise a murderous son. Their relationship should not be tarnished by a system in need of a quick arrest. Our system has created multiple victims and we cannot give up until Sebastian is home with his boys and Maria has the justice she deserves.
Those who know Sebastian know him to be a thoughtful, intelligent, kind and loving person. He loves his family wholeheartedly and wanted more than anything to be a good father to his children. With the help of his mom, Maria, Sebastian was set to finalize the purchase of a home for their family the day after her horrible murder.
Sebastian worked with books in some capacity most of his adult life. Most recently, he worked in management at the UW Bookstore in Tacoma and had been with them for many years. In the little spare time he had between working and being a dad, Seb worked on a side project at Spaceworks in Tacoma, creating a podcast. He was a dedicated father to his two boys and a dedicated son to his mother. Before this tragedy struck, Seb and his family were looking forward to visiting his father in Oregon over the holidays and family in California in the New Year. Family was Sebastian's priority and he was focused on building a future for his boys; sending them to good schools and providing a stable, supportive and loving home.
This is what happened and why Sebastian needs your help...
Sebastian woke up in the predawn hours on Oct. 16, 2017 to the sound of his mother screaming. In the darkness, he ran toward her room, only to be confronted by an intruder who then attacked him physically before he could get to her. After fighting with Sebastian, cutting his face and dislocating his thumb, the assailant ran. Sebastian went to his mother, only to find her brutally murdered in her own bed, just a few feet from where he and his sons had been sleeping only moments before.
In shock, panicked and grief-stricken, Sebastian called 911. When police arrived, Sebastian was questioned and subsequently arrested for his mother’s murder based on circumstantial evidence. What police failed to take into account in their rush to pin this crime on Sebastian is motive.
Sebastian is innocent. Those who know Sebastian know him to be a thoughtful, intelligent, kind and loving person. He loves his family wholeheartedly and wanted more than anything to be a good father to his children. With Maria’s help, Sebastian was set to finalize the purchase of a home for their family on the very next day of her murder. The house would have had rooms for Maria, Sebastian and his two sons. It was a new chapter in their lives and a huge step toward building the life he wanted most for his sons, one that was stable, safe and loving.
The loss of Maria would have been devastating no matter what. Maria had moved to Tacoma to be an integral part of her son and grandson’s lives. Sebastian and Maria were a team, working together to provide a loving, stable environment for Sebastian’s sons Jonathan and Ryan. Everyone who knew them and witnessed their relationship could see the love and respect between them.
Now we must seek justice for both Maria, whose murderer is still out there somewhere and for Sebastian, who finds himself in the unimaginable position of grieving the loss of his mother, whom he had a close and loving relationship with, while also being wrongly charged with second degree murder for her death.
The rush to charge Sebastian with his mother’s murder is in itself, a gross miscarriage of justice, infinitely compounding the pain and grief that her death has already caused. We cannot sit idly by and watch an innocent man have his life and the lives of his children irrevocably destroyed while Maria’s killer walks free.
Please try to imagine yourself in Sebastian’s situation; having your family, your job, your freedom and your life taken from you in an instant. Waking up in jail every day, unable to properly grieve your mother, comfort your children, communicate your story in your own terms. It is unimaginable, isn’t it? It’s a nightmare most wouldn’t wish on their enemies.
On November 15th the jury verdict came in as guilty in the 2nd degree. On Friday, December 17, 2018 Judge Costello sentenced Sebastian to the harshest punishment per Washington State guidelines: 220 months in prison plus 24 months "enhancement" for use of a deadly weapon, with credit for time spent to date in Pierce County Jail. Nearly 20 years.
Judge Costello said this case was unique. He said he'd never before received so many letters in support of a defendant. He said the letters urged a lenient sentence largely on the basis of two things: no criminal history, and belief that the arrest and conviction had been unjust. He concluded that because none of the letters in support of Sebastian "allowed for the possibility" that Sebastian *may* have murdered Maria, that was a sign that the supporters "refuse to wrap their minds around" the possibility that he might've committed the crime. He said he doubted anything could ever convince the letter-writers that Sebastian murdered Maria. Therefore, he said, Sebastian's supporters are biased. So Judge Costello discounted all the letters of support.
Now, we, Sebastian and Maria's friends and family, vow this: We will not give up. We do not waiver in our support. If we "refuse to wrap our minds," if we don't in our support "allow for the possibility" that Sebastian murdered Maria, it's not that we are brainless followers, lacking in imagination or realistic embrace of uncomfortable truths in the world. It's that we have the strength of conviction, the courage to stand, and love to see us through. To some that may sound cheesy, but it's true. We know Sebastian and Maria. We have had to confront our reasonable doubt. We have looked at the forensic evidence, listened to the prosecution's case, compared it against the people we know, and said No. Not a match. So we find ourselves in much the same place as October of 2017: in the dark, navigating an opaque and Byzantine system, putting together bits of information and tricks of the prison-industrial complex to support our friend. And once again searching for further assistance.
Sebastian's defense attorney, Sunni Ko, filed a Notice of Intent to Appeal for Sebastian and that's as far as she can go -- and we thank her sincerely for her relentless effort and heartfelt dedication to representing Sebastian and fighting in his defense. We thought we'd be done by now. We thought that by now we'd be helping Sebastian with the difficult task of building his life from broken pieces, and then we'd be able to go on with our own lives and put this nightmare behind us. Instead, we are thrust into a new chapter and another fight. If you stand by the notions of friendship and justice, if you won't sleep at night knowing you've let them down, stay with us. We continue this together. He'll do his best to keep communicating with us as well as he can.
Sebastian is now residing at Clallam Bay Corrections Center and learning to navigate the prison system. We've got a few books headed over to him, plus some of the larger commissary items he's requested. He’s interested in joining the beekeeping program, a job, and even helping inmates through teaching in one of the programs there. Please reach out to Sebastian when you can. All letters and words of encouragement are appreciated.
Sebastian Levy ALDRETE #412774 Clallam Bay Corrections Center 1830 Eagle Crest Way Clallam Bay, WA 98326-9723 Sending Mail to Inmates (from the DOC web page at https://www.doc.wa.gov/corrections/incarceration/send/mail DOT htm ): Posted mail correspondence between inmates and their correspondents is limited to the United States Postal Service (USPS) and the commercial shipping carriers, United Parcel Services (UPS) and FedEx . Limits may be placed on volume, length, content, or source of mail when necessary to maintain safety and security. Mail must contain only correspondence/property for the addressed individual(s). Correspondence/property for or from a third party is not permitted. Do not send cash, personal checks or stamps. The mail will be rejected and returned to you at the inmate’s expense. Mailing Requirements: The inmate’s full name Six-digit DOC number, and correct facility address The name of the unit where the inmate lives (not required for delivery) The letter(s) inside must be addressed to the inmate on the envelope. Mail must have a return address (as defined by the USPS ), including an identifiable last name.
We continue to post updates on the funded justice page and continue to accept donations to fund Sebastian’s commissary and phone accounts. Every dollar counts. We expect a long wait for the appeal process to move forward and will need continued funding.
We are also actively looking for pro-bono investigators and attorneys who are willing to assist. Should you know someone interested in aiding Sebastian please email [email protected]
Thank you to all of you who have donated and written kind words in support of our friend Sebastian.
Some of you may feel that your financial contributions are drops in the bucket and therefore futile, but in reality, every drop counts and every dollar gets us closer to providing Sebastian with the best defense possible, something he needs and deserves.
As each of us go about our daily lives, Sebastian is in jail. He is unable to hug his children or grieve his mother Maria's death with his family. He cannot choose what he wants for lunch, read the news, buy a cup of coffee or make a simple phone call. Seb won't be Holiday shopping soon, like most of us. He won't be attending his son's birthday party. He won't be enjoying any of the small luxuries that most of us take for granted. These are not pleasant things to contemplate but as friends and as people of conscience and compassion, we need to keep him in our thoughts and we need to do what we can to help. We have to imagine what it would feel like to be in his position, no matter how uncomfortable that may be.
Consider what small sacrifices you might be willing to make to help contribute to Sebastian's defense fund. Would you give up your morning lattes for a week or a month? Your HBO subscription? Would you eat out one less night a month? Wait until the movie is on cable rather than see it in the theatre?
Please contribute anything you can afford to and then do so again next month and the month after until we have raised enough money to find justice for Sebastian and Maria. We have a long way to go but each of you matter and make a difference and every dollar you send counts. If contributions are drops in the bucket, we need to keep those drops coming steadily, every month.