BERNALILLO, N.M. (KRQE) - Mistress No. 4 testified Thursday that she and ex-cop Levi Chavez had sex in his home within week's of his wife being found dead there.
Their relationship was short, but prosecutors used Katrina Garley's testimony to cast doubt on Chavez' claim that he was a grieving husband following his wife's purported suicide.
Chavez is on trial charged with first-degree murder in the death of Tera Chavez in their Los Lunas home in October 2007.
Garley said she met Levi when he came into the cell phone store she managed in Los Lunas to buy a new phone.
Shortly after the two started seeing each other.
"I actually instigated it," Garley testified. "I text messaged him to tell him that he had nice eyes."
Garley says that was in early October 2007.
She says they met up later that same day and then again as a sexual relationship evolved.
Garley said Levi invited him to the house he had shared with his wife Tera in mid-November and that they had sex there. It was on Oct. 21 that Levi claims he came home to find Tera dead from a single gunshot wound.
The prosecution claims Levi shot Tera once in the mouth with his Albuquerque Police Department-issued gun while she slept in part because he knew she was telling people he staged the theft of his truck for insurance money.
He was fired from APD after being indicted for murder.
They say his actions after Tera's death do not match that of a grieving husband.
"Do you know if the children were there?" prosecutor Bryan McKay asked
"He said they were, but I did not see them," Garley replied.
The state pointed to his encounter with Garley and to him packing up all of Tera's things just a few days after she died, something the defense took issue with.
"Was it extremely sparsely furnished like somebody had moved out all the furniture?" defense attorney David Serna queried.
"I don't recall," Garley responded. "I really only saw the kitchen and a bedroom."
Garley is the fourth woman Levi was sleeping with around the time of Tera's death to testify in the trial. The state still wants to call one more, his current wife, Heather.
Garley said the last time she talked to Levi was a few weeks after they had sex at his house. He texted her for help with a problem with his phone.
Shortly after hearing from Garley attorneys from both sides started arguing over what parts of Tera's cell phone records should be admitted into evidence.
Prosecutors wanted to exclude some of it because they include racy photos Tera sent to her husband.
The defense said it should be all or nothing.
The trial is nearing the end of its third week with the prosecution still presenting its case.
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