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Thursday, August 13, 2009

[NM] (Wife-murder suspect APD Officer Levi Chavez has "taken the Fifth" in 285 of the 309 questions asked him?)

Investigators were at the couple's former home in Valencia County Tuesday night, over two years after Tera Chavez was found dead with a bullet wound to her head. Her husband's police-issued 9-millimeter gun was next to her body... A lawsuit filed by the victim’s family states that officer Chavez changed his wife’s life insurance policy to include a pay-out clause for suicide which became active weeks before her death...

...Tera's family filed a civil lawsuit against Levi, and members of APD in August of 2008 alleging that Levi Chavez is responsible for Tera's death and that fellow officers tainted the scene the night of her death by destroying evidence...



APD OFFICER'S HOME SEARCHED IN HOMICIDE
2-Year-Old Case Involves Death Of Officer's Wife

koat.com
August 11, 2009
Deputies swarmed an Albuquerque police officer's Tuesday night home looking for evidence in a murder case. Valencia County sheriff's detectives and New Mexico State Police served a search warrant at about 7 p.m. at a home belonging to Officer Levi Chavez. The case dates to 2007 when Tera Chavez was found at home with a gunshot wound to the head. Deputies said her husband, Levi Chavez's APD issued gun, was used. At first, the case was called a suicide, but months later officials declared it a murder and named Levi Chavez as the prime suspect. No charges were ever filed, but the police presence Tuesday did come as a surprise... Since the search warrant will remain sealed, no information regarding items taken from the will be released... [Full article here]

OFFICER ON LEAVE RE-ASSIGNED TO DESK POSITION
By: Eyewitness News 4
Posted at: 08/11/2009 6:38 PM
An Albuquerque police officer who has collected tens of thousands of dollars while on paid leave is back working for the city, but not with a badge. Levi Chavez, a person of interest in the death of his wife, has been placed on desk duty in the city's Animal Control department. Since his wife's death two years ago, Chavez has been under a cloud of suspicion. He has been collecting pay checks while on leave from the force—around $70,000 worth. Eyewitness News 4 has learned that for the past two weeks, Chavez has been working as a civilian employee at animal control... Meanwhile, Tera Chavez's family has filed a lawsuit accusing Levi Chavez of killing his wife and that several fellow officers destroyed the evidence. That suit is still pending. [Full article here]

ATTORNEY DEFENDS ACCUSED APD OFFICER
Authorities Search Home Of APD Officer Levi Chavez

koat.com
POSTED: 7:58 pm MDT August 12, 2009
UPDATED: 8:54 pm MDT August 12, 2009
The attorney for an Albuquerque police officer says the raid at Levi Chavez's former home is more of the same. He said the investigation hasn't produced a scrap of evidence in two years... "It's sound and fury signifying nothing," said defense attorney David Serna. Serna said after two years of investigation the district attorney in the case hasn't been given a shred of paper implicating his client. He called the investigation silly and full of hot air... Valencia County deputies said they hope to have the investigation wrapped up by the end of the year. Serna hopes it takes that long. "The longer they keep investigating this case, the less evidence they have against Levi. I hope they keep investigating this case until they investigate it out of existence," Serna said. District Attorney Lemuel Martinez said his office has had nothing to do with the case, other than writing search warrants. All of those warrants and the items reportedly seized in the case are sealed. [Full article here]

INVESTIGATORS SEARCH FORMER HOME OF OFFICER

Eyewitness News 4
Posted at: 08/11/2009 10:03 PM
Updated at: 08/12/2009 7:17 AM
[Excerpts] ...Investigators were at the couple's former home in Valencia County Tuesday night, over two years after Tera Chavez was found dead with a bullet wound to her head. Her husband's police-issued 9-millimeter gun was next to her body. Chavez no longer lives at the home and deputies say the current residents aren't a target of the investigation. Officers were seen going into the home with surgical gloves, but they didn't appear to take anything out of the home... What is known is deputies took pictures at the home. Also, a state fraud investigator was on scene. There is a civil suit by Tera Chavez's family which claims Officer Chavez changed his wife's insurance policy to include a suicide payout. It became effective just 17 days before she was found dead, according to the lawsuit... Chavez has been on paid leave from APD in the two years since the death of Tera. Two weeks ago, he was reassigned to the city's Animal Control department as part of the city's new paid leave policy. Chavez has already collected more than $60,000 while on leave. [Full article here]

YOUTUBES

FROM JUNE:

ABQ POLICE RECENT HISTORY DESERVES THOROUGH REVIEW

The New Mexico Independent
By Benito Aragon
6/3/09 7:11 PM
[Excerpt] ...In October of 2007, Tera Chavez was found dead in her Valencia County home of a gunshot wound to the head. She was the wife of APD officer Levi Chavez and his department-issued hand gun was found to be the weapon that inflicted the shot. Valencia County investigators changed the cause of death from suicide to homicide and named her husband as a “person of interest.” APD officers are alleged to have entered the crime scene and contaminated and extracted evidence. A lawsuit filed by the victim’s family states that officer Chavez changed his wife’s life insurance policy to include a pay-out clause for suicide which became active weeks before her death. Levi Chavez is the nephew of Sheriff Robert Chavez of Santa Rosa and has been paid $63,000 while on paid administrative leave... [Full article here]

LAST MONTH:

DEATH OF COP'S WIFE RETURNS TO COURT

Reporter: Kim Vallez
Web Producer: Bill Diven
Updated: Tuesday, 14 Jul 2009, 12:13 AM MDT
Published : Monday, 13 Jul 2009, 10:25 PM MDT
The family of a woman first thought to have committed suicide has asked a judge to find her husband, an Albuquerque police officer, liable for her death. The family of Tera Chavez has long believed that Albuquerque Police Department Officer Levi Chavez had something to do with Tera's shooting death in 2007 She was found in her bed dead from a gunshot to her head. The weapon used was her husband's service weapon. Tera's family filed a civil lawsuit against Levi, and members of APD in August of 2008 alleging that Levi Chavez is responsible for Tera's death and that fellow officers tainted the scene the night of her death by destroying evidence. It also accuses APD supervisors failed to adequately supervise Levi Chavez. In a recent court motion, the attorney for Tera Chavez's family asks the judge to rule in the lawsuit and find liability against Levi Chavez based on "adverse inferences." In that motion attorney Brad Hall stated Levi Chavez has "refused to participate" in the search for answers about his wife's death and has "taken the Fifth" in 285 of the 309 questions asked of him. Hall argued "an inference may be drawn from this silence that the plaintiff's evidence is accurate." Judge Ted Baca has not yet responded to the motion. Neither Hall nor Levi Chavez's attorney would talk to KRQE News 13 on camera citing a confidentiality order in the case. [LINK]

FROM TOPIX FORUM:
Joshua B Cordova

Nov 24, 2007
I am Tera's twin brother and I am following this story through the internet and family because I am currently deployed in Iraq. I have a few comments conserning this awful event. First off my sister was a loving mother and true wife. She had no picture perfect marriage but everyday she strived to make it better for her and her kids. I know my sister better then anyone we were born together. She would have never taken her own life and for all those that say she did it just goes to show the cloud that is being held over the cover up. There are so many variables to this situation that have changed in such a short time. From the time of her death and to the way she was found it is completely different then we were origanlly told. People wanna talk about an affair so lets talk about it then! Her husband Levi for years has not been faithful and on several occasions left her and the kids and moved out of their home. Tera always took him back she loved him. Levi has been or was dating a female police officer in his department during this whole terrible time. Whether that has been released yet I dont know but lets get the truth out. My sister was murdered and in due time all this will come out. There are people out there that know that truth and are hidding or keeping it quiet and I would too if I were you. Once this mess is out in the opened you will be judged once by your peers and again by God! For who ever did this God may not be merciful on you and I hope not. Levi if you read this you know what I think and how I feel about this - never forget that ever! My sister loved you and her babies. Now the only ones that are paying the price are the kids. Tera was a beautiful mother and her best friends in life was her kids. She put up with alot from a man that gave very little in return to her. Tera did not take her own life it was taken from her. I cant blame her husband just yet but I can blame him for for not keeping her safe and just maybe if he did then she would be around today and the kids would have their mother back. I am very frustrated about this situation and I want the truth out and to be heard. For all those that read this or hear the story dont be so willing to give Levi sympathy cause if you truly knew the man he was and is then you would be keeping a watchful eye on him. If anyone wants to respond to my comments please do so my email is jodev0906@yahoo.com.

EXCERPTS FROM BLOG "EYE ON ALBUQUERQUE"

Bottom of the Barrel
Monday, October 29, 2007
..A story that has not made the papers is the story of Officer Levi Chavez. Chavez is a lateral officer from the Los Lunas Police Department. According to our eyes officer Chavez's wife discovered that her husband was having an affair. Tragically, her response was to take her own life... Mrs. Chavez's untimely death lead to an investigation and an authorized search of the Chavez residence; a search that uncovered a substantial amount of marijuana and the paraphernalia required to make use of the afore mentioned illegal substance. Of course Officer Chavez denies knowing anything about the stash and you can guess who he threw under the bus...

Suspicions Continue
Thursday, November 8, 2007
... KRQE News 13 reported a few days later that investigators told them that the case wasn't "clear-cut" and that they were taking an "extra look" (KRQE News 13). Today we got word from our Eyes that the "extra look" has resulted in increasing suspicion that Mrs. Chavez's death was not caused by a self-inflicted gun shot wound. In addition, the Eyes have it that there are questions about officer Chavez's statement and his actions prior to and following the incident...

Update - Levi Chavez
Monday, November 19, 2007
...Today, the Eyes have it that the initial forensic tests have cast more doubt upon the suicide theory; enough to change Mrs. Chavez's cause of death from suicide to undetermined. We're told that officer Chavez was relieved of duty as of 1:00pm and we'd guess that means paid administrative leave until...

Eye Told You: Suspicious
Thursday, May 1, 2008
...The Journal is reporting that suicide has been ruled out as the cause of death of Tera Chavez, wife of suspended APD officer Levi Chavez. Officials told the Journal that Officer Chavez has officially become an unofficial suspect - in other words "person of interest"...
Curious
Sunday, September 14, 2008
...What's curious to us is that Officer Levi Chavez who may have had a hand in his wife's death - you know a homicide - is still on the force. Actually he's being paid by the force not to come to work. Most of us call that vacation... The allegations against Chavez don't just include well... murder - they include financial difficulties and insurance fraud. At the time of his wife's untimely demise, Chavez was a probationary officer which means he can be terminated for just about anything...

Suspicious Behavior
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
By now practically everyone has heard about the wrongful death suit filed against APD Officer Levi Chavez in the case of Tera Chavez whose death was ruled a homicide... Named in the wrongful death suit are Chief Ray Schultz, Lt. Shawn O'Connell, Sgt. Ron Olivas, Sgt. James Silver, and six other "John Doe" officers... The lawsuit alleges that in addition to his police duties, Officer Chavez was protecting and serving (emphasis on the serve part) multiple female APD officers simultaneously. And our Eyes tell us that since Tera Chavez' untimely demise last October, Chavez has married - you guessed it... another APD officer. Meanwhile up on the 5th Floor, our Eyes have it that the Chief and his brain trust are deeply concerned that this story could grow legs.... Nearly a year later Officer Chavez is still on paid administrative leave... What has our Eyes and a lot of officers scratching their head is - what is so "special" about Levi Chavez? What makes him bullet proof?... This afternoon we received the following email from Brad Hall who represents the Tera Chavez estate...

Update: Tera Chavez
Thursday, May 7, 2009
...Unfortunately (except perhaps for Levi Chavez), there has been little movement on the law enforcement front. That's more than likely due to the arrival of several APD officers at the scene shortly after Ms. Chavez' death - even before the Los Lunas Police showed up. Of course, the officers didn't have any business entering a potential crime scene in another jurisdiction but that didn't stop them from mucking up the criminal case from the get go... According to our Eyes, a forensic analysis of Officer Chavez' city issued and owned computer - the one used in his vehicle - revealed that Chavez had been doing a little research on how to commit murder and make it look like a suicide. In addition, Chavez seemed to be stocking up on cold medicine by purchasing 6 bottles right before Tera's death. Toxicology found that Tera Chavez had three times the recommended amount of cold medicine in her bloodstream...

Still on the Payroll
Thursday, May 14, 2009
...What's upsetting is that a Chief who has an officer whose actions have already triggered numerous criminal investigations hasn't seen fit to start his own internal affairs investigation - even though he has a habit of starting IA investigations and leaving them open... until???... It seems as if Chief Schultz has not even initiated an investigation of Chavez even though the APD officer seems to have been implicated in not one but two criminal investigations. Our question is why? Why is Chavez still on the payroll when other officers have been terminated for far less? And Why is Schultz so willing to protect Chavez?...
[police officer involved domestic violence law enforcement fatality fatalities murder teflon new mexico coverup cover-up fake suicide]

14 comments:

  1. my daughter knew tara and said that she would never have killed herself....she loved her babies...I pray and hope to god this man falls into his own net...God Knows and and I pray that he shows the blood on all hands involved especially Levi chavez...amazing he is still on payroll....what a joke...we are praying for you Aaron, and family...

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  2. First of all I would like to say how truly sorry I am for the loss of your sister. I met her and Levi when he first graduated the police academy. I could tell what kind of person Levi was and I really hope that he pays for what he has done. You and your family are in my prayers.

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  3. I too am sorry for the loss of Tara and feel for the kids too.......That is one screwed up family and I feel bad for those kids being raised around all the lieing, cheating, abusing and bad family charater......they desrve better than the Chavez family....

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  4. this sorry excuse for an APD officer belongs behind bars and on death row

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  5. I'm working on a new post now.

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  6. AnonymousJuly 22, 2011

    Things are heating up..Levi Chavez is in the hot seat..Its about time justice is served for Tera.
    My heart goes out to Teras family.
    Levi is falling into his own trap.
    dirty cop...just look at his face.

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  7. Sorry. Had to edit this comment from anonymous. This is the part I can post:

    "....let him sit behind prison walls as a crooked cop. let him remember Tera every day of his life..."

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  8. AnonymousJuly 31, 2011

    i went to the police academy with levi. he was one of the most selfish narccistic people i have ever come to meet. when i heard tera had died i had a terrible feeling levi had something to do with it i know justice will be served and a conviction will be handed down. i feel so sorry for the family and friends of that poor woman who lost her life in 2008. she did not deserve any of the miss treatment that levi subjected her to. he is a real pretty boy the inmates at the penatentary of new mexico will enjoy his company and so will lucifer when the couard takes the easy way out and kills himself in there.

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  9. AnonymousJuly 14, 2013

    Levi Chavez is and always has been a dirtbag. My kids went to school with the Cordova twins, Josh and Tera. Levi always thought of himself as a stud, even in high school. Just watching him in the courtroom makes me ill. A minimum of 10 mistresses? He slept with anything he could. Tera deserved so much better. She loved her babies and in spite of his philandering ways, she loved Levi. But she did not take her own life. She would not have done that. Her brother knows what a scumbag Levi is, he watched Levi mistreat his sister for years.
    The sheriff who was in office when this happened was notoriously corrupt and incompetent. APD officers had no business being at the scene. They were there to cover up and remove any evidence that might point directly at Levi. Levi's phone was turned off for 16 hours. How convenient! Deleted text messages except the one he sent just after he shoved the gun into her mouth and fired. His partner who he says he didn't know in high school conveniently can't recall details. Funny my son says they knew each other, it's a small community, you know everyone. Levi staged the theft of his pickup truck, changed the life insurance policy to cover suicide and zones in on his next victim (f*ckbuddy) even before he has killed his wife. Tera knew of the fraud and was threatening to drop a dime on him. What better way to be rid of a problem than to shove a gun down her throat and pull the trigger.
    Det. Jones persistent investigation brought Levi to trial and exposed the lying POS for what he is, a murderer. Jones did not falter when questioned by the snake Serna, who is a dirtbag himself. Levi Chavez and Serna obviously rehearsed all night before Chavez took the stand, sobbing and crying on cue. Chavez was lying on the stand in front of "his Jury". He couldn't care less about Tera, all he could think of was the money from the insurance fraud, the life insurance policy and his penis with Hindi, who is now his wife.
    Tera's father is so strong and honest in his testimony. His manner is true to his goodness and his love and honor for his daughter. Levi had Tera's belongings packed up within days ready to be rid of her, once and for all. He thought he had pulled off the perfect murder. I pray that he is found guilty of murder, that he spend his life remembering each and every day of the terrible crime he committed, and he be miserably incarcerated with those that will make his life as miserable as he made Tera's.
    karma a bitch, Levi. What comes around goes around. And you know the truth and it shows in your face, your body language and your eyes. As is pretty much standard for Albuquerque Police Officers, if they weren't cops, they'd be criminals. Levi is a murderer. I hope he rots in hell.

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  10. AnonymousJuly 16, 2013

    How depressing that this jerk got away with murder. He was so cocky leaving the courthouse. What an ass.

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  11. Sorry, I have to edit down this comment from Anonymous due to some things said about Chevez's new wife:

    "I just watched a couple of interviews with jurors. They did not like Levi Vhavez. First vote was 6 not guilty 4 guilty 2 undecided. If the APD cleanup Crew had not cleaned up the evidence and destroyed it, Levi would have been found guilty.
    On another note, I've heard that Heather Hindi (now Chavez) is _______________________________________ .
    Levi may have been found not guilty but it was because of his crooked cronies and things that had disappeared. Jury did not like him nor were they impressed with his rosary and sign of the cross after the verdict was read.
    You may have gotten away with murder, Levi but the rest of your life is going to be hell. And that you deserve. You are a murderer that was not convicted because your pals destroyed evidence. That's all. Nothing more. I hope you can never find another job because of your notoriety and your crooked family ties.
    Bless Tera Cordova and her family and children. You should at least allow the Cordova family to see those kids. They are theirs too. That way they would at least have a good, honest influence in their lives unlike what you have to offer.

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  12. AnonymousJuly 21, 2013

    Levi, u may of gotten off but u will pay. What is done in dark will be brought to light. This is not over watch what unfolds. Tera is still here, she cant rest in peace and tera would never leave her kids. Watch what unfolds in the years to come. This def is not over. Levi, u will pay...

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  13. I just watched Dateline. I didn't see anywhere that Tara's hands were tested for GSR. Shouldn't that be protocol for a suicide? I also noticed something odd about Levi's responses in court. When asked if he killed his wife he says "absolutely not" with a downward head movement like a partial head nod. When asked if he tampered with evidence to make her death look like a suicide he answered "No(with a head shake), I did not(with a head nodding). Did anyone else find this odd?

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