Attorney Barry Levin's Death Ruled Suicide

Attorney Barry Levin, who helped handle Erik Menendez's murder defense and more recently represented actor Robert Blake, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, an autopsy showed Sunday.

Levin, 54, reportedly upset over a debilitating illness, was found slumped over the steering wheel of his car Saturday afternoon. The former Vietnam War paratrooper was parked at a veterans cemetery.

The autopsy confirmed preliminary findings that Levin committed suicide, Los Angeles County Coroner's Lt. Fred Corral said.

Levin was a co-counsel for Menendez, who was sentenced to life without parole in 1996 with brother Lyle for killing their parents. Levin recently represented Blake, star of the Baretta TV series, whose wife's murder is unsolved.

He was also the lead defense attorney in a case stemming from alleged corruption in the city's police department.

Levin's brother-in-law and law partner, Ron Dorfman, said Levin suffered from Gaucher's disease, an inherited enzyme-deficiency disorder that causes victims to bleed and bruise easily. He was in constant severe pain.

Levin's wife, Debbie, took him Saturday morning to his office so he could tie up some loose ends at work, Dorfman said. After returning home, Levin left the house in his car.

Levin's wife became worried and called police. His car was found about 2 p.m. at Los Angeles National Cemetery.

FBI agent Richard Garcia said Saturday that investigators discovered "some evidence of a note." On Sunday, FBI spokesman Matthew McLaughlin declined to elaborate. The agency is investigating because the death occurred on federal property.

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