Regional
5:15 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

Jury Rules "Not Guilty" In Trial Of Former Albuquerque Police Officer Charged With Killing Wife

Jurors have reached a not guilty verdict in the trial of a former Albuquerque police officer charged with killing his estranged wife.  Leaving the courtroom, Levi Chavez told reporters, "I'm not surprised at all. I'm not guilty. I'm innocent."

Prosecutors say the 32-year-old Chavez killed 26-year-old Tera Chavez with his department-issued gun in October 2007 and tried to make her death look like a suicide.

Chavez's attorney says Tera Chavez took her own life because of her volatile marriage and a crumbling affair.

Chavez acknowledged having a string of mistresses, searching a website on how to kill someone with martial arts moves and ignoring his wife's calls for help. He denied killing her.

The jury of nine women and three men was just a few hours into their second day of deliberations on Tuesday when they signaled they had reached a consensus.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.