Doc’s big heart and COVID-19 may have led to his assassination: friend

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It is a bizarre combination of COVID-19 and the kindness of the retired oral surgeon and philanthropist, Dr. Paul Morgan, which led to his tragic murder, says a distraught close friend.

Michael Lavelle Jr., who considered Morgan a second father, said the surgeon was the surety of a troubled young homeless man accused of a series of arson attacks in the West End at the end of the year last.

The young man’s grandfather, who comes from the Serpent River reserve, asked his old friend Morgan to bail out his grandson. Morgan therefore acted as bail for the young man and allowed him to live in the house in North York where the 79-year-old man was found killed on April 14.

“It was a mistake and Morgan knew it was a mistake, but he couldn’t get out of it,” said Lavelle.

Lavelle alleged that the young man had friends at Morgan’s and that they were using drugs. He claims to have reported the drug use to the Toronto police, but nothing has been done.

“Throwing the child in jail was not an option for him – Doc did not believe in prison,” said Lavelle.

He said that Morgan, who “has spent his entire life helping indigenous peoples”, had hoped to place the young man in an indigenous center.

“Doc was way ahead of his time. Since hearing about residential schools from a friend in 1965, “said Lavelle. “He was incredible. He went in the direction that society should take and helped so many people to move forward. “

He said that Morgan created what was called the “breakfast club” for hungry children in the Blind River school system and that he helped the surgeon pack his van every Friday night – after a full day surgeries. Doc was driving, flying or mountain biking at Blue Fox camp near Blind River.

Angela Benedict is seen here with her longtime friend Dr. Paul Morgan after obtaining a master’s degree in education from Lakehead University in 2016. Morgan was found murdered in his North York home on Tuesday, April 14, 2020 .

(photo provided)

Lavelle is convinced that it was Morgan’s kindness and generosity that brought him into a difficult situation.

The young man allegedly took drugs and did not respect his curfew, but Lavelle, who offered to lend an affidavit to have the man removed from Morgan’s home, was unsuccessful.

The young man’s case was scheduled for April 1, but due to COVID-19, almost all incarceration cases are stayed for 10 weeks.

Morgan was found dead at his home at 42 Howard Dr., northwest of Sheppard Avenue E. and Leslie St., sometime after 8:00 am Tuesday.

A day after 79-year-old Dr. Paul Morgan, a retired oral surgeon and philanthropist, was found killed, Toronto police guard his home on Howard Dr. in North York on Wednesday, April 15, 2020.

Chris Doucette / Toronto Sun / Postmedia Network

The police said Morgan had experienced clear signs of trauma and that there were no obvious signs of a forced entry into the home.

No arrests were made in the city’s 22nd murder of the year.

“It could have been avoided,” says Lavelle. “Doc is a victim of COVID 19 when the cops give tickets to people in the park for breaking social distance and do not apply the conditions of the bond.

The young man is now back in pre-trial detention, facing a charge of non-compliance (with bail conditions) and the case is before the courts on Monday.

Homicide Det.-Sgt. Keri Fernandes, the officer in charge of the case, said that she could not comment on the alleged violations.

“The investigation is continuing with the help of the community and we are investigating a large amount of videos and following a number of tips that are coming in,” she said.

Morgan suffered blunt trauma, but police “have not yet received a full autopsy report,” said Fernandes.

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