A 34-year-old transient was behind bars Thursday on suspicion of killing a handyman at a former drug and alcohol rehab home, which was under renovation, in Costa Mesa, authorities said.
Christopher Ernest Leovy, whose last known address was in Los Angeles but had been a transient in Costa Mesa in recent months, was arrested Wednesday in Wilson Park in Costa Mesa after scuffling with detectives and officers who were arresting him, Costa Mesa police Lt. Paul Dondero said.
Leovy was booked on suspicion of murder and assaulting a peace officer and was transferred today from the Costa Mesa jail to the Orange County Jail, Dondero said.
He was being held on $1 million bail.
Leovy is accused of killing John Gerard Kubat, 54, of Costa Mesa, Monday morning, allegedly bludgeoned Kubat, who was working as a handyman, with a "heavy object," and leaving his body in a gated driveway of a closed drug and alcohol rehabilitation center at 536 Hamilton St., Dondero said.
Someone who went to the property to check on the progress of the renovation found Kubat's body and called police about 11 a.m., Monday.
An autopsy conducted Wednesday determined Kubat died from blunt force trauma to the head, Dondero said.
The motive was unclear, he said.
Leovy had been a client of a sober living facility in the past, but it was unclear if that was in Costa Mesa, Dondero said.
Evidence at the crime scene pointed to Leovy as a person of interest, and when detectives tracked him down to Wilson Park, where he was known to go, "the contact was initially casual, but then he attempted to run and he became combative," Dondero said.
Police have recovered the suspected murder weapon, Dondero said.
"At this time, we believe he acted alone," he said.
—City News Service.