BERNALILLO (KRQE) - Levi Chavez was found not guilty at his criminal trial, but he's definitely not off the hook for his wife's death. He still faces a wrongful death suit.
Attorney Brad Hall filed the lawsuit in 2008 against Chavez, APD and its supervisors on behalf of Tera Chavez's estate. The city already settled its portion of the lawsuit for $230,000, leaving Chavez on his own.
A District Court judge put the civil case on hold until the criminal trial wrapped up. The criminal case requires proof beyond a reasonable doubt. A civil lawsuit does not.
It's like the O.J. Simpson case. In 1995, he was acquitted of killing his wife and her friend. But a civil jury ordered him to pay $33 million
Hall says this civil case may go to trial or could be mediated and settled.
Additional evidence could be allowed into the civil trial that was not allowed in the criminal trial.
If Chavez loses the civil trial, he might have to pay a hefty price if he loses the civil trial.
"Whatever assets exist in his family or in the insurance policies that are still out there or in any proceeds that are generated for the next 14 years," Hall said.
Next month Chavez is scheduled to meet informally with the Law Enforcement Academy Director to see if he'll be allowed to keep his police certification or will be banned from ever being a cop again.
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