Medical examiner in Levi Chavez trial: Crime scene did not look staged

Posted at: 07/09/2013 10:32 AM | Updated at: 07/09/2013 2:18 PM
By: Elizabeth Reed,

The murder trial for a former Albuquerque police officer resumed Monday after a break for the Independence Day holiday.

Levi Chavez is accused of shooting and killing his wife, Tera, at their Los Lunas home in 2007.

Today, the defense called medical examiner Dr. Charles Wetli to the stand. He has completed more than 7,500 autopsies and told the jury he believes Tera's death was not staged.

He said her hand position at the crime scene was consistent with a self-inflicted gunshot wound, as well as her injuries.

However, prosecutors cross-examining Dr. Wetli pointed out that his research dealt with revolvers, not semi-automatic weapons. 

The defense also recalled Samantha Wheeler, wife of the officer who had an affair with Tera, to the stand.  Wheeler testified two weeks ago, telling jurors that Tera had told her she did not like guns and that she couldn't see her friend killing herself.

On Tuesday, Wheeler admitted that she told a detective in the case that Chavez kept a gun for Tera's defense in their home.

The trial will resume Wednesday morning, when Chavez will decide whether or not to take the stand.

Related stories:

Closing arguments expected in Chavez murder trial
Levi Chavez's mother, former APD partner testify in murder trial
Defense calls first witness at Levi Chavez trial


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