BERNALILLO, N.M. (KRQE) - Prosecutors called their final witness Monday in the Levi Chavez murder trial and the gun played a major role in that testimony.
After they were done, the defense asked the judge to end the trial right then and there and declared the former Albuquerque cop not guilty.
Defense Attorney David Serna argued that after more than 30 witnesses and three weeks of testimony that state has not shown sufficient evidence that Levi murdered his wife Tera.
"We do not have the level of evidence that would allow a reasonable fact finder to find Levi Chavez guilty as to either count," Serna said.
The state disagreed.
"I'm not positive we were all at the same trial," Lead Prosecutor Bryan McKay said.
He pointed to testimony from earlier Monday by a firearms expert that Chavez' department issued gun was found with a round in the chamber and the magazine unseated, something Tera could not have done if she'd shot herself.
"Someone had to press that magazine release after it was fired," said Mark Radosevich.
Prosecutors also brought up motive, the fact that Tera was telling people Levi, a rookie APD cop at the time, staged the theft of his pickup truck for the insurance money and that he wanted to move on from Tera without a costly divorce.
Then McKay mentioned opportunity.
"Its the defendants gun, he's unaccounted for from about 12:20 Saturday or early Sunday morning until its light that day," said McKay.
Judge George Eichwald sided with the state.
"I'm going to find in respect to count one and count two there is sufficient evidence and I'm going to deny the motion for directed verdict," The Judge said.
Before the state rested they called a fingerprint expert, Shirley Garcia, who testified she was not able to find any useable fingerprints on the gun or the magazine.
On cross-examination Serna asked Garcia, "you didn't come to any professional conclusion that any of the surfaces that you examined for latent fingerprint impressions had been wiped clean did you?" to which Garcia responded, "I cannot determine that."
The state's final witness was Tera's twin brother Joshua Cordova.
He told the jury the two were very close even after he joined the Navy and was deployed.
Cordova said the last time he saw Tera was at her son 'little Levi's birthday party a week or so before she died.
"It's like she opened up her eyes," he said.
Cordova testified that Tera was set on opening up her own barber shop and even picked out a name adding that he did not believe she killed herself.
He also described the last conversation he had with Levi the night of Tera's viewing, "He stated that to me that he found out Tera had an affair and that he was going to go inform my parents of that information that night."
Police responded to dozens of weather-related crashes in only a matter of hours Sunday.
A small plane crashed at about 8 a.m. Sunday morning on the Canyon Rim Trail near N.M. 502 and the entrance of Los Alamos.
Sunday night in Albuquerque and around the world people gathered for candlelight vigils to remember the loss of their children.
Department of Agriculture officials are warning customers to not get burned when buying firewood.
Church groups, parents and teachers met Sunday at the 20th annual Albuquerque Interfaith Convention. State education reform was their central focus.
Police officers were called out to Lovelace Hospital on Saturday after a patient woke up to find his laptop missing.