BERNALILLO, NM (KRQE) - The defense attorney for a former APD cop facing murder says enough is enough when it comes to the jury hearing from his client's string of lovers from before and after his wife's death.
David Serna, Levi Chavez's attorney, moved late Tuesday to block prosecutors from calling two more women tied to Levi, including his current wife, APD officer Heather Hindi, and a woman Levi brought to the home where Tera died weeks after his former wife Tera's death in 2007.
"The jury already gets the point that Levi [was] sleeping around to a large degree," Serna said.
So far prosecutors have called three of Levi's mistresses to the stand as part of the state's case that Levi killed his wife Tera and staged it to look like a suicide.
Lead prosecutor Bryan McKay argued both women they want to call to testify are also key to the state's arguments.
"Your honor I think they both have relevant additional information to go with this," McKay said. "We're not going to get into the four or five other [women] that were named and learned in this investigation."
Judge George Eichwald ruled in favor of prosecutors and both women will testify either late this week or early next week.
Earlier in the day, the jury heard from crime scene expert Arthur Ortiz, formerly the director of the Law Enforcement Academy.
Ortiz reviewed photos from the crime scene itself and said while he couldn't conclude whether or not Tera Chavez's death was a homicide or suicide, he did notice several suspicious things.
Ortiz highlighted a possible blood spot in an odd place of Tera's bedding.
"If Tera Chavez died instantly, she couldn't have put it there and I didn't see any areas north of that that could've produced that stain," Ortiz said.
Ortiz said it's possible that the spot would be created if someone took the gun out of her mouth, something Tera also could not have done. However he said that photos are not conclusive and because the bedding was never tested, it's unclear if that spot was from blood or not.
The expert also pointed out that Tera's hands did not have any blood back spatter on them, which in his experience is present in similar cases where a suicide occurred. Again, Ortiz pointed out that research shows that back spatter wouldn't necessarily have to be present.
In an interesting moment, Ortiz pointed to pictures of Tera's children in their normal position on her dresser as being unusual if Tera killed herself.
"For that to be a suicide is somewhat suspicious that those weren't turned down," Ortiz said. "You don't want your loved ones looking at you when you're going to commit suicide."
Because of a scheduling issue, the defense also called a witness of their own, Washington D.C.-based suicide expert Dr. Alan Berman.
Berman reviewed evidence from the case including Tera's journal and text messages she wrote.
"She had a large number of both chronic and acute risk factors for suicide," Berman said.
Prosecutors presented other parts of Tera's journal where she wrote that she was moving on and starting a new chapter of her life to counter Berman.
Prosecutors expect to wrap their case Monday morning before turning it over to the defense.
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