Three arrests after Levin stabbing

LUCY TOWNEND
Last updated 18:07 02/02/2013
Michael Les Valentine
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VICTIM: Michael Les Valentine.

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Three men have been arrested in connection to the fatal stabbing of a Levin man after ''some minor matters'' got out of hand.

Police launched a homicide investigation after Michael Les Valentine, 27, was stabbed at a property off State Highway 1, 7 kilometres north of Levin, about 8.30pm last night.

St John Manawatu-Horowhenua ambulance operations manager Steve Yanko said ambulance staff attempted to resuscitate Mr Valentine but his injuries were too critical and he was declared dead at the scene.

Police said a 31-year-old man has been charged with murder and will appear in Levin District Court on Monday.

Two other men, aged 22 and 29, have been charged with assault in relation to the death and will appear in court next week.

Detective Senior Sergeant Marc Hercock said police do not think it was a random attack and were not looking for anyone else in relation to the death.

"We believe that prior to Mr Valentine's death there was some type of altercation involving a number of other people ... we understand that there was disagreement in regards to some minor matters between the victim and those arrested."

Police were now seeking sightings of a white Mitsubishi Pajero 4WD, registration CTJ418, between 6pm to midnight yesterday.

"Even though we have made arrests, this investigation is still ongoing and we are appealing to the public for sightings of the vehicle mentioned above and for any information relevant to this investigation.

"We believe this vehicle has been used at some point prior to, and after the fatal stabbing of Mr Valentine," Mr Hercock said.

The scene examination is expected to continue over the next 48 hours and the post-mortem examination being conducted tomorrow.

Police said their thoughts and condolences were with Mr Valentine's family and friends at this difficult time.

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- Manawatu Standard

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