ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The conviction has been overturned for the man who killed an army veteran during a robbery at an Albuquerque ATM. Twenty-four-year-old Tyler Lackey was shot and killed in 2016 while taking money out at the ATM near Gibson and Yale.
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Matthew Chavez was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to 23-and-a-half years in prison, but his attorneys appealed claiming the jury wasn’t properly instructed on the option of voluntary manslaughter which would have taken into account possible self-defense. In the trial, prosecutors did acknowledge that Lackey himself had a gun and tried to stop the robbery.
Based on that argument, the appeals court has ordered Chavez’s conviction overturned and ordered a new trial saying Chavez’s rights to a fair trial were denied. In response to the ruling, District Attorney Raul Torrez said in part, “It’s hard to understand how someone who attempts to rob an innocent person at gunpoint is entitled to a self-defense instruction after the victim defends himself. This decision turns the roles of the criminal and the victim upside down.”
The attorney general is responsible for appealing to the Supreme Court.