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Madison Heights woman wants answers about husband's death

Published On: Dec 24 2013 03:59:43 AM EST   Updated On: Aug 22 2013 05:42:56 PM EDT

A Madison Heights woman is devastated and looking for answers about the death of her husband.


Wednesday was Cassie Martin's third wedding anniversary, but instead of celebrating with her husband she was telling him goodbye.

"To see him like that, on our anniversary when it's supposed to be happy, I can't describe it," Martin said Thursday.

She's struggling to understand why he died suddenly, at age 29, with no history of health problems.

"He was a healthy man," said Martin.  "He worked all his life, since he was 16 years old."

Levon Martin, known as Shawn to family, was hanging out with friends at a house on Tulip Street Tuesday night.

Lynchburg police showed up, looking for someone suspected of violating parole.

Martin wasn't the one they wanted, but startled by presence of armed officers, he took off running.

"They followed him for no reason," Martin said.  "If you are looking for someone else, why would you bother him?"

In a description given to WDBJ7 by police, officers caught up with Martin.  He told them he wasn't the person they were looking for.

Then, according to police, he suffered some kind of medical emergency and collapsed.

"I just know they could have saved him," Cassie Martin said.  "They could have revived him."

In a statement released Tuesday, police said they gave Martin CPR on the scene.

They denied using force or a taser on Martin; something witnesses contradict.

"They are out here protecting people, so they should have protected him and they didn't," said Cassie Martin.  "They were against him and he did nothing wrong."

Lynchburg Police have not made any further statements about the incident since Martin died.  They are referring all media inquiries to Virginia State Police, which is now investigating the Lynchburg department's handling of the situation.

Martin's body has been sent to Roanoke for an autopsy.