Levi Chavez, an Albuquerque police officer, called 911 on the morning of October 22, 2007, to report that he’d come home to find his wife dead of a gunshot wound from his service weapon. He told the 911 operator, “Please tell them to hurry!” and said she’d committed suicide, PEOPLE reported.
Over the next several months, detectives began digging into Levi Chavez’s story and the investigation eventually deemed her death a homicide. Chavez was placed on leave at the police department where he worked and eventually, on April 7, 2011, he was arrested and charged with his wife’s murder, KOAT reported. So where is Levi Chavez now?
Chavez Went to Trial for His Wife’s Murder in 2013 But Was Acquitted After a Jury Found Him Not Guilty
It took two years following Chavez’s arrest for the trial to move forward due to delays from civil trials, motion hearings and the trial having to move venues, according to KOAT. In July 2013, after a month-long trial, the verdict from the jury came in: not guilty. Chavez was acquitted of the first-degree murder charge and told reporters outside the courtroom, “I’m not surprised at all. I’m not guilty. I’m innocent. I told you guys that from the beginning. I knew I’d be acquitted. I didn’t do anything wrong.”
Following the not-guilty verdict, Chavez filed a federal lawsuit against Aaron Jones, a detective with the Valencia County Sheriff’s Department at the time of Tera’s death. Jones was one of the first officers on the scene and a lead detective on the case. Chavez alleged “malicious prosecution, malicious abuse of process, defamation, and outrageous conduct,” court documents show. The lawsuit against Jones was dismissed in 2018.
Chavez Studied Law & Is Working at a Non-Profit Called Heading Home; He Remarried a Few Months After His First Wife’s Death
COVID-19 has impacted how we provide prioritized street outreach, emergency housing, and permanent supportive housing services to people experiencing homelessness. Read a reflection on the importance of community partners from our WEHC Emergency Housing Director Levi Chavez. pic.twitter.com/O5xOecrgtD
— HeadingHomeNM (@HeadingHomeNM) June 1, 2020
Chavez was accepted at the University of New Mexico Law School and began studying for his degree in 2016, where he specialized in criminal law, according to Cinemaholic. News of his admittance to the university was met with some concern from alumni and other students, New Mexico PBS reported. Heavy reached out to the university for more information about his admittance but did not immediately hear back.
It appears that Chavez is now working for a non-profit organization called Heading Home that gives emergency housing and permanent housing support to people who are homeless in New Mexico, according to their website. Chavez’s bio states that he’s the emergency housing director at the Westside Emergency Housing Center. His profile states:
Mr. Levi Chavez was born and raised in New Mexico and has a military and law enforcement background. Levi has undergraduate degrees from UNM and CNM, as well as a law degree from the UNM School of Law. Levi started working for Heading Home in 2015. This type of work affords great meaning to his life, as he and his team provide emergency housing to hundreds of our community’s most vulnerable individuals each night.
One key talking point during the investigation into Tera Chavez’s death and the murder trial was how quickly Levi Chavez appeared to have moved on. Within two months of her death, he was engaged to a former colleague at the Albuquerque Police Department, Heather Hindi, and they were married a few months later, PEOPLE wrote.
It appears that his wife, now known as Heather Chavez, is a detective with the Farmington Police Department. Levi Chavez has full custody of his two children, according to Tera’s parents Joseph and Theresa Cordova, Alibi reported.