Updated: Thursday, 04 Aug 2011, 10:38 PM MDT
Published : Thursday, 04 Aug 2011, 10:38 PM MDT
ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - News 13 has learned internal affairs is recommending the termination of APD detective Russell Perea in connection with the Levi Chavez case. Chavez was fired from the department in April after he was indicted for his wife Tera's 2007 murder at their Los Lunas home.
Russell Perea is one of several APD officers investigated by internal affairs for what they did just before and after Tera Chavez's death.
Perea joined APD three years ago as a transfer from the Belen Police Department. That's about the same time Levi Chavez joined APD. We're told the two have a long history and grew up together in Belen.
A civil suit filed by Tera Chavez's family claims that Perea and Levi were working together the night of the murder. The suit claims Perea was not entirely truthful about what he and Chavez were doing during a four hour period when Tera Chavez could have been killed. The suit also claims Levi killed Tera because she was going to tell authorities he staged the theft of his truck to get insurance money.
It's not clear if that's why APD Internal Affairs is recommending the termination, and APD is not confirming that Perea is the officer recommended for firing, however several sources have confirmed that. Sources also tell News 13 the FBI is investigating whether Russell Perea drove Levi's truck to the Mexican border.
Levi Chavez was fired from the department in April. He was only with APD for 6 months prior to his wife's death. He was indicted for her murder in April.