BERNALILLO, N.M. (KRQE) - After a two-day delay testimony resumed Wednesday in the trial of a former Albuquerque police officer accused of killing his wife.
The case hinges on the prosecution's belief that former cop Levi Chavez killed his wife Tera in a staged suicide in 2007 because she was threatening to turn him in for insurance fraud.
On Tuesday the judge pulled the case from the brink of dismissal after Chavez's attorney raised questions about a key prosecution witness.
State insurance-fraud investigator Richard Farrelly had been looking into allegations Chavez staged the theft of his pickup truck to collect on the insurance.
During the hearing the defense claimed the fraud investigator put the trial at risk because he failed to notify anyone he had interviewed one of Levi Chavez's former lovers, another key witness in the case.
"Did you at any time indicate that you had any information about that?" a prosecutor asked Farrelly with the jury not present.
"No, ma'am, I didn't because the question wasn't asked." Farrelly said.
The judge ruled Farrelly couldn't testify in the trial unless the defense wants to call him as a witness.
On Wednesday morning Tera Chavez's father and a longtime friend testified they saw nothing to indicate she was on the verge of suicide. Joseph Córdova also talked about the troubled relationship between Levi and his daughter.
KRQE News 13 will update this story in later newscasts and in live blog posts from the Sandoval County Courthouse in Bernalillo
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