Coroner: Sean Levert Died Of Natural Causes
The 39-year-old Levert died March 31 at Lutheran Hospital after he was transported from the Cuyahoga County jail. He was sentenced a week early to one year and 10 months in jail for failure to pay $89,025 in child support.
County Coroner Frank Miller determined that Levert died from complications of sarcoidosis, an inflammatory disease that produces tiny lumps of cells in body’s organs. Miller ruled out foul play or trauma. The ruling was based on an autopsy and toxicological screenings.
The coroner said Levert also suffered from other conditions, including hypersensitive and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, hyperglycemia and withdrawal from alprazolam – a drug used to treat anxiety disorders and panic attacks.
Jail warden Kevin McDonough said Levert had been sick and guards were watching him at the jail’s regular cellblock because he had been acting strangely.
When he started pounding on his cell door, guards strapped him in a restraint chair, McDonough said. Levert’s breathing became shallow and he was taken to the hospital.
Levert’s family questioned McDonough’s account and wanted the FBI to investigate. Levert’s cousin, Michael Gibson, said Levert never had any outburst such as the type described by McDonough.
FBI spokesman Scott Wilson said in April that agents were willing to meet with Levert’s family. Wilson said Thursday that the FBI was never contacted by the family.
Messages seeking comment left with Sean Levert’s publicist, Patti Webster.
Levert and his brother Gerald, the sons of lead O’Jays singer Eddie Levert, formed LeVert in the 1980s with childhood friend Marc Gordon. Their hits included “Baby I’m Ready,” “(Pop, Pop, Pop, Pop) Goes My Mind” and “Casanova,” which was nominated for a Grammy in 1988 for best R&B performance by a duo or group with vocal. It was also nominated for best R&B song.
Gerald Levert left the group to start a solo career in 1991. He died in 2006 at age 40 of an accidental mix of prescription and over-the-counter drugs.
Sean Levert, who was trying to start the group LeVert again, pleaded guilty in March to six counts of nonsupport in cases dating back to 2005 and 2007 and children ages 11, 15 and 17.
Levert pleaded guilty in 1995 in Cleveland to drug abuse and was placed on probation and required to get treatment.