Former police officer acquitted of murder of wife

BERNALILLO, N.M. (AP) — A former Albuquerque police officer has been acquitted of murder in the death of his wife after a trial that contained a series of salacious revelations about his extramarital affairs with co-workers.

Jurors returned the verdict on Tuesday against Levi Chavez in the shooting of 26-year-old Tera Chavez. Prosecutors contended that she was shot in the mouth to make it appear to be a suicide.

Jurors reached their decision after listening to weeks of testimony detailing the couple’s crumbling marriage amid a number of affairs by Levi Chavez with co-workers and acquaintances.

Witnesses testified that Tera Chavez also had an affair with a police officer who was married to the maid of honor at her wedding.

Prosecutors alleged that Chavez killed his wife in October 2007 after she learned about an insurance fraud scheme involving a staged stolen truck.

Defense attorney David Serna said Tera Chavez was depressed and committed suicide.

Prosecutors had sought life in prison.

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