The man who shot and killed an army veteran at an ATM robbery two years ago was found guilty of second degree murder.
It took the jury almost three days to find Matthew Chavez guilty of the murder of Tyler Lackey.
Still, it wasn’t the first degree murder conviction and potential life sentence Lackey’s family was hoping for.
“I just miss him. There’s still this hole in our lives so it’s not a win, it’s just relief,” said Lackey’s mom Liz Frank. “It’s so scary that this individual could’ve been on the streets again and do it again.”
Two years ago, Chavez shot Lackey at an ATM near Gibson and Yale during a botched robbery. Chavez never admitted to the robbery, despite the fact that he was wearing a mask when he went up to Lackey at the ATM.
A witness testified that Lackey was yelling and trying to stop Chavez from robbing him, and did have a gun himself. The incident ended with Chavez shooting Lackey three times, then fleeing the scene.
“Tyler did the right thing. We all wish he’d done something different and lived, but what he did was right and you can see it in the video, and Chavez is a coward,” said Frank.
Chavez’s defense used the fact that Lackey had a gun to argue self defense, an argument Lackey’s family couldn’t believe.
“He never wanted to kill Chavez,” said Lackey’s brother Scott Lackey. “He wanted Chavez to get out and get caught…and Chavez never feared for his life but was scared of getting caught, and that’s when he, you know, shot my brother.”
The jury was given the option of first degree murder, which indicates a crime is premeditated. However, they opted instead to convict him of second degree murder, which still shows intent but not pre-meditation. They also convicted him of attempted robbery, tampering with evidence and other charges.
Lackey’s family said at least it’s something.
“Hearing guilty, guilty, guilty all over again, that’s all I could hope for,” said Frank.
“I miss my brother, it’s not the same without him,” said Lackey.
Chavez is facing a total of 23 and a half years. He will be sentenced in November.
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