Levi Chavez sues detective over murder investigation


ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Another lawsuit has been filed involving the former APD officer who was acquitted of his wife’s murder. This time, Levi Chavez said he is the one who has been wronged.

He is suing the detective who first launched the investigation into the 2007 death of Levi’s wife, Tera Chavez.

Levi said former Valencia County Sheriff’s Office Det. Aaron Jones was on a “witch hunt for police corruption.”

Two years ago, a jury found former officer Levi not guilty of murdering Tera.

The 26-year-old was found dead in 2007 at her Los Lunas home with Levi’s APD-issued gun near her.

The prosecution claimed Levi killed Tera to stop her from talking about an insurance fraud scheme, making it look like a suicide.But, Levi insisted it was a suicide.

In a lawsuit filed in federal court on Wednesday, he said he was tried for murder without probable cause.

Levi calls out Jones, saying he interfered with autopsy findings, fabricated evidence and improperly influenced witness testimony.

Levi’s attorney confronted Jones about it during Levi’s murder trial.

“You can lie because you’re a cop, that’s what you’re saying, right?” asked Levi’s attorney, David Serna.

“Witnesses and victims and suspects lie to us,” Jones responded. “We sometimes lie to them too.”

To which Serna said, “You lied to Deborah Romero, right?”

“I don’t know about that, sir,” Jones said.

On Thursday, Jones tells KRQE News 13 that he makes no apologies for doing his job and that he only wishes he and the other investigators had done a better job preserving evidence at the scene.

He also points out that he was no longer in charge of the investigation by the time Levi was indicted.

Still, Levi said in the lawsuit that “Jones’ extreme or outrageous conduct resulted in Levi Chavez’ severe emotional distress.”

Jones’ supervisors at the time and the Valencia County Board of Commissioners are also named in the lawsuit.

Levi is asking for money to make up for the harm done to his reputation and lost wages because he was fired from APD.

A wrongful death lawsuit that Tera’s family filed against Levi in 2008 came to an end after Levi claimed he was broke.

However, it did include an agreement about not making money off of Tera’s death.

The family’s attorney said he was surprised to learn of the federal lawsuit, and he hopes Levi honors the agreement with Tera’s family.

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