Levi Chavez trial, live blog day 8

June 19th, 2013 at 9:47 am by under Latest Posts

KRQE News 13 Reporters Alex Goldsmith and Amanda Goodman are in the courtroom covering the Levi Chavez trial.

Levi Chavez is accused of shooting and killing 26-year-old Tera Chavez with his department-issued handgun in their Los Lunas home, and of trying to make her death look like a suicide because prosecutors say she was about to report him for insurance fraud. He is charged with first-degree murder and evidence tampering.

Live Updates @alexg_reporter, @krqe_agoodman #LeviChavez (most recent updates are displayed first)

  • Ok folks, things wrapped up here for today.. will be back underway Friday morning I’ll have a wrap tonight at 10. #LeviChavez
  • Judge reminding jurors of ‘recess rules’ basically stay off the internet, social media & don’t talk to anyone about the case #LeviChavez
  • Judge confirms there will be no court tomorrow so he can handle his regular docket #LeviChavez
  • Romero now off the stand.. she could not get out of here fast enough. did not look at #LeviChavez
  • Seems like recess may have helped Romero, she seems more composed now #LeviChavez still not happy with Serna, but composed.
  • Sounds like Romero was trying to say that in 07 she may have said 1am.. but that overall she doesn’t know when #LeviChavez arrived.
  • State now reading more of the transcript.. in it Romero repeatedly says she doesn’t know when he got there #LeviChavez
  • Romero lets out sigh of relief when Serna says he’s finished. #LeviChavez
  • With copy of transcript in her hands Romero continues testimony #LeviChavez
  • Romero is back on the stand– jury coming out now. #LeviChavez
  • She thought the only thing holding up #LeviChavez‘s divorce was the financials, something to do with the house.
  • To clarify– Romero did not know #LeviChavez was sleeping around.
  • Serna says he is will give copy of transcript to Romero so he doesn’t ‘twist’ anything around Judge calls for recess #LeviChavez
  • Romero says to Judge she doesn’t mean to be argumentative but Serna is ‘twisting’ her words around #LeviChavez
  • Romero & Serna screaming match cut off by Judge.. Judge asks Romero to answer yes or no. #LeviChavez
  • Romero says she spent 6 years racking her brain over this trying to remember when #LeviChavez got there– says she doesn’t know.
  • Serna trying to point out Romero mentioned ‘objective factors’ to try and narrow down time #LeviChavez arrived to detectives
  • Romero cutting Serna off from the stand #LeviChavez Judge allowing it
  • Serna now back to timeline– trying to nail down when #LeviChavez got to her house Sat night/Sun morning
  • Serna tells Romero he ‘doesn’t want to fight with’ her.. just wants her to answer the questions #LeviChavez
  • The tension between Serna/Romero is almost as bad as Serna/Jones… #LeviChavez Romero keeps saying ‘what is your point”
  • Serna asks Romero to ‘settle down’ after she says she doesn’t know what to think of #LeviChavez after the cheating, corruption etc
  • Serna has done this with other witnesses as well– reads the VCSO intrvw transcript then asks them if they remember saying that #LeviChavez
  • Romero– did not want to be involved with a married man, it hurt her and made her mad #LeviChavez
  • Romero clearly does not want to be here… Serna continuing to read from VCSO interview transcript #LeviChavez
  • Serna says just asking simple questions.. Romera responds “well can you get on with it so I can get out of here” #LeviChavez
  • Romero again getting emotional– says this whole thing is so disgusting and makes her upset #LeviChavez
  • Romero says Jones didn’t make her cry in the interview.. says it was ‘the whole disgusting situation’ #LeviChavez
  • Romero found out #LeviChavez was still living with Tera from VCSO Detective Jones.
  • Serna now asking about #LeviChavez demeanor on Sunday– Romero says it was normal
  • Serna now reading from VCSO interview transcript– at that time Romero said #LeviChavez arrived at 1am
  • Romero asking Serna not to ‘twist her words around’ said she didn’t know the time he got to her house #LeviChavez
  • Serna now asking Romero to be as ‘honest & helpful’ as she can be #LeviChavez
  • Serna now probing Romero on when #LeviChavez arrived to her house..
  • Romero says everything was ok with #LeviChavez up until she spoke with the detectives, VCSO
  • It’s not clear if Romero knew #LeviChavez was sleeping around… Serna seems to be preparing to ask her though..
  • Romero considered #LeviChavez her boyfriend at the time of Tera’s death
  • Serna says Romero never said #LeviChavez was ‘divorced’ before– says she always said ‘legally separated’ in the past
  • Romero says she does not know exact time #LeviChavez got to her house… Serna now on cross
  • Romero gets emotional when State asks when she learned Tera was dead #LeviChavez
  • State having Romero write down her cell phone # & entering it as an exhibit so its not ‘broadcast’ bc it is still her # #LeviChavez
  • Romero says there was an area on #LeviChavez‘s way home where cell service dropped out
  • Romero says she can’t recall exactly what time #LeviChavez came to her house Sat night/Sun morning- says she was asleep left the door open
  • Romero says they were going to spend the previous weekend together.. but scheduling conflicts didn’t allow #LeviChavez
  • Romero says they would see each other when they could cause their schedules were so opposite. #LeviChavez
  • Romero says#LeviChavez told her he was going through a divorce..
  • #LeviChavez told investigators he was with Romero during the weekend Tera died.
  • State calls Debra Romero– another one of #LeviChavez‘s mistresses
  • Judge still has not read statement to jury regarding Richard Farrelly investigation into stolen truck… #LeviChavez
  • Court is taking a break. #LeviChavez
  • Patrick Cordova excused. #LeviChavez
  • Issue settled, jury called back in, Serna asking about Patrick Cordova’s criminal record. #LeviChavez
  • Patrick Cordova pipes up: “I’ve been to jail three times!”. Serna: “Congratulations.” Judge tells them to back off. #LeviChavez
  • Argument over Patrick Cordova was whether Serna could ask about dismissed charges. #LeviChavez
  • Patrick Cordova had also claimed Tera told him if she died #LeviChavez did it. Not allowed to testify to that.
  • State says it stayed away from controversial information, that Patrick Cordova claims Tera told him about truck wasn’t stolen. #LeviChavez
  • State objects to Serna’s questioning, jury taken out of the room. #LeviChavez
  • Cordova only established Tera wasn’t depressed at work, he took the call when she called in sick. Serna tearing into him. #LeviChavez
  • Serna: Are convicted felons allowed to have barber’s licenses? (referring to Cordova) #LeviChavez
  • Serna cross-examining Cordova, on the attack immediately. #LeviChavez
  • Cordova asked only a couple of questions. #LeviChavez
  • Patrick Cordova’s wife managed Style America, the salon where Tera worked. Cordova is also Tera’s cousin. #LeviChavez
  • State calls Patrick Cordova to the stand.
  • Lucero told police she believed Samantha Wheeler, wife of the cop Tera was sleeping with, would have reason to kill Tera, not #LeviChavez
  • Lucero: Tera wasn’t afraid of #LeviChavez .
  • Lucero: Tera never told me #LeviChavez had staged the theft of his truck.
  • Serna cross-examining Lucero now. #LeviChavez
  • Lucero says #LeviChavez texted her night after funeral asking her if Tera was having an affair with an APD cop. She told him Tera was.
  • Lucero went shopping with Tera earlier in the weekend Tera died. #LeviChavez
  • Serna withdraws his objection, apologizes, sits down. Jury called back in. #LeviChavez
  • Court reporter read the record back. Prosecution was right. #LeviChavez
  • Serna was objecting that Lucero had told police #LeviChavez didn’t know about affair. DA says she was talking about what Tera knew.
  • After a bench conference, judge calls a sudden 5 minute recess. #LeviChavez
  • Lucero tears up a bit talking about Tera looking to get a divorce. #LeviChavez
  • Lucero: Tera and #LeviChavez were arguing a lot.
  • Andrea Lucero was Tera Chavez’s coworker from Style America. #LeviChavez
  • State calls Andrea Lucero. #LeviChavez
  • Jury coming back in, state to call its next witness. #LeviChavez
  • They’ve settled on a Farrelly statement, jury will hear it later today. #LeviChavez
  • Serna and DA heatedly clashing on minute details of Farrelly statement. #LeviChavez
  • Serna wants judge to make it clear that Farrelly had no idea where the call was coming from. #LeviChavez
  • Call to Richard Farrelly reporting #LeviChavez for possible insurance fraud came in 5 days before Tera’s death in 2007.
  • Style America is the salon where Tera worked. #LeviChavez
  • Farrelly says female caller left the business number for Style America, under the name “Sarah Lucero”. #LeviChavez
  • Serna says Farrelly actually indicated it was unclear where the call reporting #LeviChavez for insurance fraud came from.
  • Court is back in session. Serna and prosecutors debating what judge will tell jury about Richard Farrelly’s testimony. #LeviChavez
  • Serna wants to sort out judge’s statement to jury regarding Farrelly after lunch. #LeviChavez
  • Court is on lunch break until 1:15 #LeviChavez
  • Gonzales steps down from the stand. #LeviChavez
  • Gonzales: Tera never told me #LeviChavez had staged theft of his truck.
  • Gonzales says he believed APD officer Nick and Samantha Wheeler knew more about Tera’s death than they let on. #LeviChavez
  • Gonzales said she believed officer was worried about his wife finding out about the affair. #LeviChavez
  • Serna asking Gonzales about why the APD cop Tera was having an affair with kept calling her.#LeviChavez
  • Serna now cross-examining Gonzales. #LeviChavez
  • Gonzales: Tera never once said she’d hurt herself. #LeviChavez
  • Gonzales: Tera never gave any indication she was severely depressed. #LeviChavez
  • Gonzales was long-time close friend of Tera Chavez, since the 3rd or 4th grade. #LeviChavez
  • The state’s next witness is Melonie (spelled that way) Gonzales. #LeviChavez
  • Joseph Cordova getting hug from family after difficult testimony. #LeviChavez
  • Cordova done testifying. #LeviChavez
  • Serna done with cross-examination. #LeviChavez
  • Cordova: I accepted #LeviChavez in our family as my son. But I didn’t like him. He made it difficult to like him.
  • Cordova: APD handled funeral arrangements. #LeviChavez
  • Serna brings up #LeviChavez comment “A divorce would’ve been so much easier.” Cordova responds “Easier than what”. Serna says suicide.
  • Cordova confirms #LeviChavez told family “You don’t know what you got until it’s gone.”
  • Cordova: When #LeviChavez walked in the Tuesday after Tera’s death said he was ashamed to look at family.
  • Cordova knew about Tera’s affair with APD cop before her death. #LeviChavez
  • Serna now cross-examining Joseph Cordova, offers deepest condolences to him. #LeviChavez
  • Cordova turns and asks #LeviChavez how his grandchildren are. Serna objects.
  • Cordova: We haven’t seen grandchildren since Feb./March of 2011. #LeviChavez
  • Cordova: APD lied to me… said they were never in the house the night Tera was found even though they were. #LeviChavez
  • Cordova: I was the squeaky wheel. I wasn’t going to allow this to get pushed under the rug. #LeviChavez
  • Cordova says #LeviChavez called him again during the investigation and reiterated: You have to face the fact that Tera killed herself.
  • Cordova says #LeviChavez told him you have to face the fact that Tera did this to herself.
  • Cordova: #LeviChavez told him shortly after. I have no tears left for your daughter.
  • Cordova, still upset: It was like she didn’t exist. #LeviChavez
  • Cordova upset that Tera’s stuff was all packed up just days after her death: “Who does that” he yells. #LeviChavez
  • Cordova responding to Det. Jones telling him about his daughter’s apparent suicide: No way, there’s no way she would do this. #LeviChavez
  • Cordova: #LeviChavez had been cheating on Tera since high school.
  • Cordova: Both Tera and Levi were seeking divorce when Tera died. #LeviChavez
  • We’re back underway with more testimony from Tera’s father. #LeviChavez
  • Judge says jury needs break. Court in recess for ten minutes. #LeviChavez
  • Cordova: Daughter talked about plans for Halloween, Thanksgiving before her death. #LeviChavez
  • Cordova: Tera was happy…. She lived for her kids. #LeviChavez
  • Cordova breaking down on stand: Everything I ever said I’d do for [Tera], I did. #LeviChavez
  • Cordova: Tera wasn’t depressed… Was excited about everything the two were working on. #LeviChavez
  • Cordova: Tera gave him two thumbs up and blew him a kiss the last time he saw her. #LeviChavez
  • Cordova: Last time I saw Tera was the Thursday before she died. #LeviChavez
  • We may be a bit away from this, but it’ll be interesting to see what balance Serna strikes cross-examining a grieving father. #LeviChavez
  • Cordova: Tera showed father sketches of her future plans within a week of when she died. #LeviChavez
  • Cordova choked up talking about other drawings/plans in Tera’s sketch book. #LeviChavez
  • Cordova walking through sketch of what Tera Chavez wanted part of her salon to look like. #LeviChavez
  • Cordova: Tera had a dream of opening up her own style salon. Was moving toward that goal. #LeviChavez
  • Cordova had possession of #LeviChavez ‘s old phone, turned it over to Det. Jones.
  • Last picture is of Tera taking pictures on her phone to send to #LeviChavez . Levi wasn’t at son’s birthday that night.
  • Photographs are from Tera’s son’s birthday shortly before Tera’s death, taken by Cordova. #LeviChavez
  • Cordova emotional looking at exhibits the state just presented him with. #LeviChavez
  • Cordova: Tera and #LeviChavez used VA loan to buy home where Tera eventually died.
  • Tera and #LeviChavez moved back to Los Lunas in 2004.
  • Cordova: Tera decided against divorce, joined #LeviChavez in Michigan where he was serving in the Coast Guard.
  • Cordova says he built 800 sq ft apt for Tera and the kids in their wood shop when Tera said they were getting divorced. #LeviChavez
  • Cordova: While #LeviChavez was in the Coast Guard, Tera and family moved home.
  • Cordova: Money was tight… I could see my daughter wasn’t doing too well. #LeviChavez
  • #LeviChavez#LeviChavez and Tera married before Tera graduated high school.
  • Cordova: Tera and Levi had roller coaster relationship in high school. #LeviChavez
  • Cordova: #LeviChavez and Tera met at summer camp during middle school.
  • State calls Joseph Cordova, Tera’s father, to the stand. #LeviChavez
  • Jury called back in. #LeviChavez
  • Judge says “Let’s handle this later.” #LeviChavez
  • Serna and Keener arguing over whether insurance investigator Farrelly found out call he received was from Tera’s salon or not. #LeviChavez
  • But Serna objects to one of the facts the judge read off… Jury is out of the room. #LeviChavez
  • Judge reading statement about Richard Farrelly per his ruling yesterday #LeviChavez
  • Judge Eichwald is back in the courtroom and we’re underway with Day 8. #LeviChavez
  • Caught a glimpse of a transcript Serna was reviewing with #LeviChavez . Two names on it are Det. Jones and APD cop Deborah Romero.
  • Jury being loaded into the jury box now for the first time this week. #LeviChavez

Romero says #LeviChavez told her he was going through a divorce..

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