The Levi Chavez verdict was read Tuesday afternoon — a shocking conclusion to the murder trial of the so-called Casanova cop, a former Albuquerque, New Mexico police officer charged with killing his wife for the insurance money. You can see the video that shows the live reading of the verdict down below.
But first you might want to watch the top video to bring yourself up to speed on the colorful case.
The Levi Chavez verdict came after a five-week trial and a six-year investigation that put the 32-year-old former police officer on trial for the October 2007 shooting death of his wife in their home near Los Lunas, New Mexico.
Chavez claimed that his wife committed suicide because of his many affairs. But the prosecutors had alleged that he staged the murder to look like suicide for money.
The jury ultimately believed Chavez and returned a verdict of not guilty on the murder and evidence tampering charges.
In a lengthy Albuquerque Journal story on the Chavez verdict, defense attorney David Serna vented against prosecutors who brought a case against his client that he described as a “made-up pile of lies.” Chavez lost his job as on the Albuquerque police force 10 days after being indicted for a crime that may not have even occurred.
An ABC Crimesider report noted that the jury deliberated for 10 hours before freeing the former officer, who was clutching a rosary during the tense wait.
Because of the salacious details, including the stories about Chavez’s many mistresses, the trial of the former police officer attracted widespread attention in New Mexico.
Here’s local news station KOAT live coverage of the Levi Chavez verdict:
Although a civil trial from Tera Chavez’s family will now move forward, the freed former police officer had time to say “I told you so” to the KOAT news team.
“I’m not surprised at all. I’m not guilty. I’m innocent. I told you guys that from the beginning,” Levi Chavez said as he walked free.
[still photo by Gemenacom via Shutterstock]