Levi Chavez trial, live blog day 12

June 26th, 2013 at 9:50 am by under Latest Posts

KRQE News 13 Reporters Amanda Goodman  and  Alex Goldsmith 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 @krqe_agoodman, @alexg_reporter #LeviChavez (most recent updates are displayed first)

  • McKay tells me the state anticipates that they’ll wrap up their case Monday morning. #LeviChavez
  • Court is done for the day. #LeviChavez
  • The second mistress Judge Eichwald ruled on is Heather Chavez, #LeviChavez ‘s wife.
  • Judge Eichwald rules both mistresses are allowed to testify and one additional Cordova family member. #LeviChavez
  • State: We want to call a mistress because #LeviChavez had her over to the house within weeks of Tera’s death.
  • By my count, ten potential #LeviChavez mistresses/women he was sleeping with before or soon after Tera’s death.
  • Serna referred to Levi’s new wife Heather as Tera… apologizes immediately. #LeviChavez
  • McKay: We want to call two mistresses, both of whom have relevant information, not the four or five others we could have. #LeviChavez
  • Serna: The jury gets the point, #LeviChavez was sleeping around to a large degree.
  • Serna also objecting to prosecutors calling more women #LeviChavez was sleeping with to the stand too.
  • Serna: I think it’s getting to the point of repetition unfairly prejudicing the jury against #LeviChavez
  • Serna objecting to prosecutors calling any more Cordova family witnesses. #LeviChavez
  • Judge to jury: This day felt like it went on and on, that’s why I’m sending you home early. #LeviChavez
  • Judge calling the jury back in It appears he’ll send them home for the day and then settle another issue with the attorneys. #LeviChavez.
  • Court in short recess. #LeviChavez
  • Ortiz steps down from the stand, subject to recall. #LeviChavez
  • Ortiz: More photographs of the scene would’ve been better, a lot of uncertainty. #LeviChavez
  • Serna and Ortiz debating about what crime scene photos show in regards to the gun and whether magazine was detached. #LeviChavez
  • Ortiz: Photos appear to likely show magazine separated from gun. #LeviChavez
  • Ortiz: Position of the casing simply not reliable in this case. #LeviChavez
  • Ortiz: Can’t render a conclusive opinion as to whether Tera’s death was homicide or suicide. #LeviChavez
  • Strange coincidence, Ortiz helped train #LeviChavez on crime scene investigation, used 1 case in class where man staged wife’s suicide.
  • Ortiz: Unseated magazine in weapon also very suspicious. #LeviChavez
  • Ortiz: Photographs of kids not turned away from suicide a “red flag”…”You don’t want your loved ones looking at you.” #LeviChavez
  • Ortiz: No sign of physical struggle doesn’t rule out homicide… Could’ve happened in a second. #LeviChavez
  • Judge calls for 10 min recess #LeviChavez
  • Ortiz says Tera’s hands look very suspicious to him because they were ‘so clean’ not typical of other suicides he’s investigated #LeviChavez
  • bringing up the position of the remote was laying right beside Tera’s hand.. Ortiz says looks like it could have been in her hand at one pt.
  • A lot of blood in these photos… #LeviChavez
  • feed dropped out for a second. but I believe Ortiz said blood drops on end of gun may have come from someone pulling gun out of Tera’s mouth
  • Ortiz says he saw what looked like a ‘drop’ of blood that was inconsistent with scene but not sure if it was blood bc bedding not collected
  • McKay not really having Ortiz explain what any of his photos mean in layman’s terms– not sure if jury is following.. #LeviChavez
  • Here come the gruesome photos of Tera’s body again.. #LeviChavez
  • power point now up for jury to see.. starts off with a wide angle shot of Tera dead in bed #LeviChavez
  • Ortiz was hired in March to review crime scene photos about to show a power point he put together #LeviChavez
  • McKay walking Ortiz through his background/education/history as a crime scene specialist.. #LeviChavez
  • Art Ortiz worked for NMSP for 23 years.. #LeviChavez
  • Jury coming out now.. afternoon session about to begin.. the state will call a crime scene expert to the stand #LeviChavez
  • Looks like things are getting ready to start up again here… #LeviChavez
  • The state will resume its case after lunch #LeviChavez
  • Dr. Berman steps down, Judge calls for lunch break #LeviChavez
  • McKay has Dr. Berman clarify that he is not here to say this was a suicide but rather his findings support risk factors consistent with it.
  • McKay brings up that the only person who claims the gun was at the house, meaning Tera would have access, was #LeviChavez
  • McKay shows last entry from Tera’s journal last line reads ‘welcome new day’ signed ‘Happiness’ #LeviChavez
  • McKay points out Dr. Berman did not actually talk to anyone but rather just read interviews, depositions, etc #LeviChavez
  • Serna finished with direct, McKay on cross now.. #LeviChavez
  • Again Dr. Berman says Tera had both chronic and acute risk factors for suicide #LeviChavez
  • Tera’s parents shaking their heads in disbelief at that statement by Dr. Berman #LeviChavez
  • Dr. Berman says in one sense it may have been good that Tera’s kids weren’t home bc she could have possibly killed them to #LeviChavez
  • Dr. Berman says the fact that someone made plans does not mean they would not ‘impulsively’ commit suicide #LeviChavez
  • Tera’s mom back in the courtroom now as Dr. Berman’s testimony resumes #LeviChavez
  • Morning recess over.. jury coming back into courtroom… Dr. Berman still on the stand with Serna doing direct #LeviChavez
  • State objects to Serna question.. Judge sustains then calls for a recess #LeviChavez
  • Dr. Berman has been on the stand for about an hour now… no end in sight to Serna’s direct #LeviChavez
  • Dr. Berman says a majority of people who try suicide for the first time end up in the morgue. #LeviChavez
  • Dr. Berman says in 2007 the number one way females committed suicide was by firearm. #LeviChavez
  • It’s clear from these text message Tera was unhappy, but really just wanted #LeviChavez to love her.. sad all the way around.
  • #LeviChavez has his hand covering his face.. can’t tell if he is upset or bored..
  • Berman says there are a LOT of text messages from Tera to #LeviChavez but context is typically the same, ‘why do you hate me’ ‘f*** you’ etc
  • Berman reads a text from Tera to #LeviChavez that says ‘I’m tired of being your dumb wife’ wanted him to respect her from Sept., 2006
  • Tera’s mom still has not returned to the courtroom, Tera’s dad is still in courtroom #LeviChavez
  • Serna now wants Dr. Berman to go over some text messages from the year before Tera died.. messages she sent #LeviChavez
  • Dr. Berman says in Tera’s case there is an overwhelming amount of evidence that her life revolved around #LeviChavez
  • These entries are hard to listen to… a lot of references to ‘disappearing’ ‘falling off the face of the earth’ #LeviChavez
  • Dr. Berman now reading entries from Tera’s diary one says “I depend on him for life itself’ #LeviChavez
  • Tera’s mom just left the courtroom #LeviChavez
  • Dr. Berman says the ‘I hope you’ll be happy now’ line in the note is Tera saying in a sense ‘my death is a gift to you’ #LeviChavez
  • Dr. Berman says Tera never felt good enough for #LeviChavez to love her and be home with her.
  • Serna now putting up alleged suicide note that was found torn up in the trash #LeviChavez
  • Dr. Berman’s conclusions are based on all the doxs he was given to review in the case including reports, depositions, texts, etc #LeviChavez
  • Dr. Berman bringing up Tera’s diary says she wrote a bunch of things she didn’t tell others, will get to those writings in a few #LeviChavez
  • Dr. Berman says Tera was frightened of being alone, had probs sleeping, it all reached a boiling point the weekend of her death #LeviChavez
  • Dr. Berman says she had access to a gun, family history of suicide #LeviChavez
  • Dr. Berman says Tera felt trapped– she was in a love/hate relationship with #LeviChavez
  • Dr. Berman says #LeviChavez was manipulative, an emotional bully toward Tera
  • Dr. Berman says after reviewing everything in the case.. found manner of death consistent with suicide #LeviChavez
  • Berman clearly not from here.. pronouncing Chavez as ‘Shavezz’ #LeviChavez
  • Dr. Berman now telling jury about all the materials he received on this case.. reports, photos, alleged suicide notes, etc #LeviChavez
  • Dr. Berman says he had a 40 year clinical practice, also taught on the topic and had ‘at risk’ patients referred to him #LeviChavez
  • Dr. Berman says he practices ‘suicidology’ which is the study of suicide #LeviChavez
  • Defense calls Dr. Alan Berman, clinical pyschologist #LeviChavez
  • Jury coming into the courtroom now… Judge will let them know about the defense witness then hopefully thing will get started #LeviChavez
  • Still waiting on the defense witness… going out of order today bc this is the only time this witness is available #LeviChavez
  • No one is at the defense table yet… court was supposed to start at 9… #LeviChavez

One Response to “Levi Chavez trial, live blog day 12”

  1. Beth says:

    Why not also tell the jurors how Tera has been with Levi since high school. Typical battered wife syndrome, scrambling her view of a healthy relationship. He came to the hospital with his prom date after Tera delivered their son. She was opening a salon with her father’s help, Cosmetologists cannot be licensed or salon owners having been involved in criminal activity, hence why she anonymously reported the insurance fraud. The history of Levi’s father and uncles career and personal lives do not have a stellar record of behavior, learned behavior from that family climate.

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