With murder trial looming, man convicted of robbery
February 13, 2018 11:36 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- His murder trial doesn't begin for eight more months, but the man accused of killing an Army medic in Albuquerque faced a different jury.
Matthew Chavez was convicted Tuesday of a robbery he committed in 2016. He is also charged with gunning down Tyler Lackey that same year.
Lackey was 24 years old when he was fatally shot. His mother, Liz Frank, said every time his accused killer spends in front of a judge is worth her time because it keeps her son's memory alive.
"There are just no words, and I just miss him," she said.
For Frank, the last two years have stood still and rushed past all at once.Lackey was killed at a southeast Albuquerque ATM in 2016.
Chavez is charged with the murder. His other crimes have caught up to him. He's already served time in Oklahoma for a robbery. In Bernalillo County District Court Tuesday, he was convicted of the robbery at an Albuquerque Cricket Wireless store.
Frank was there in the courtroom on Tuesday.
"Anything that keeps him in jail any longer helps," she said.
It will still be eight months until Chavez faces a jury trial for her son's murder, but Frank is following him each step of the way.
"Because I want to see him punished as much as he can be," she said.
It's a simple way, she says, to keep her son alive. She will watch as his accused killer is brought to justice.
"It doesn't help with missing him," Frank said. "That's what it all comes down to. I miss my son. I miss seeing him watching football. He would have loved that Packers and Cowboys game."
Chavez will face another jury when Lackey's murder trial begins in September. The district attorney's office says prosecutors are ready to go.
Chavez's sentencing for Tuesday's robbery conviction is scheduled for next month.
Updated: February 13, 2018 11:36 PM
Created: February 13, 2018 11:28 PM
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