Christopher Ernest Leovy Held in Handyman John Gerard Kubat's Murder at Sober House

See the update on the next page about an arrest in the murder of a handyman who was rehabbing the residential drug and alcohol rehabilitation center.

ORIGINAL POST, SEPT. 9, 1:48 P.M.: A man's body was found in front of an uninhabited Costa Mesa building this morning, and police are investigating the case as a homicide.

Costa Mesa Police were called around 11:10 a.m. about a man down at 536 Hamilton St., which used to be the site of a since-relocated drug and alcohol rehabilitation center.


A police spokesman declined to state at this time why detectives are investigating the death as a homicide.

The fellow's name, age, city of residence and cause of death were not immediately released either.

UPDATE, SEPT. 12, 2:31 P.M.: A homeless man who recently arrived in Costa Mesa from Los Angeles has been arrested for the murder of a handyman who was working on the rehabilitation of a former residential drug and alcohol rehabilitation center that about to re-open as a sober-living house.

Christopher Ernest Leovy, 34, is being held in Orange County Jail in lieu of $1 million bail for suspected murder and Assault on a peace officer, according to a statement from Lt. Paul Dondero of the Costa Mesa Police Department (CMPD) Investigations Bureau.

The deceased man has been identified as John Gerard Kubat, 54, of Costa Mesa.

According to Dondero's statement:

Kubat had been working on the home at 536 Hamilton St. since the previous rehab relocated and a new sober living operator was about to move in. He took last weekend off and then returned early Monday morning to pick up where he left off. When the sober living facility operator came by later that morning to check on Kubat's progress, the body of the handyman was found lying in the driveway.

Detectives quickly zeroed in on Leovy as a “person of interest,” and he was already known to police by then. Cops had had contact with him at nearly Wilson Park, where he'd been cited for minor infractions of city code. Leovy was also known to police and park rangers as a past client of a sober-living home.

Officers confronted Leovy at Wilson Park around 5 p.m. Wednesday, but he darted off, according to the police statement. Once detectives caught up with him, he became combative and assaulted them, police say. Leovy was originally arrested on suspicion of assault on a peace officer and held in the city jail.

But the murder investigation continued, Leovy was additionally booked for alleged murder and he was transferred to the county jail.

The police statement indicates an autopsy concluded blunt force trauma to the head caused Kubat's death. Police say the object used to kill Kubat had been recovered by investigators at the scene Monday.

Kubat's identity had been withheld until this morning so next of kin could be notified and due to the active investigation, according to police, who say Leovy is believed to have acted alone but more clues in the case are being developed. Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Sergeant Ed Everett at 714.754.5395 or Detective Bang Le at 714.754.5361.

Email: mc****@oc******.com. Twitter: @MatthewTCoker. Follow OC Weekly on Twitter @ocweekly or on Facebook!

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