Murder trial begins for accused 2016 ATM shooter

The trial started Monday for the man accused of murdering an Army veteran during a robbery at an ATM in 2016. 

Several witnesses on Monday explained what they say led up to Tyler Lackey’s killing, including Lackey’s good friend who says he saw Chavez kill him.

“I saw the gun maybe two seconds before he fired. At that point it was already too late,” Justin Overton said.

He’s one of many witnesses to testify in Matthew Chavez’s case.

Matthew Chavez is accused of gunning down Lackey near Gibson and Yale in 2016 when the Army veteran wouldn’t give up his money.

The defense never admitted to the robbery, only that Chavez was wearing a mask when he approached Lackey at the Wells Fargo ATM.

Surveillance video from the ATM that was played in court shows Lackey point a gun at Chavez.

After about 90 seconds of what appears to be a conversation at the ATM, Chavez headed back to his car and Lackey followed.

It’s unclear what happened during that interaction, but Overton said Lackey was yelling and trying to stop a robbery.

After a while, the video shows Lackey falling to the ground and the car drive away.

The defense argued Chavez fired in self-defense because Lackey followed Chavez with his gun out and shot first.

“Matthew Chavez didn’t use force at the ATM, didn’t use force until his life depended on it,” defense attorney Nicholas McDonnell said.

An APD officer testified that Lackey was shot three times, and investigators did find a bullet casing that came from Lackey’s gun by his body.

The witness testimony continues Tuesday at 9:30 a.m.

That includes testimony from Chavez’s girlfriend, who was with him that night and at one point was also charged with the murder.

After the killing, police say Chavez went on a robbery spree in Oklahoma and Texas.

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