Medical investigator supervisor testifies in Levi Chavez trial

Posted at: 06/25/2013 7:02 PM
By: Joseph Lynch, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Dr. Patricia McFeeley
Dr. Patricia McFeeley

Testimony in the murder trial of former APD officer Levi Chavez dealt a blow to the defense Tuesday.

Chavez is accused of killing his wife and making it look like a suicide, but a supervisor with the Office of the Medical Investigator is raising serious questions about who pulled the trigger.

Regina Sanchez is the third woman to take the stand saying she had an affair with Levi Chavez. She says Levi moved in with her during the fall of 2006. She was told he was going through a divorce, but she says things went south after a phone call from Tera Chavez.

Lawyer: Was she upset?

Sanchez: Yes, very.

Lawyer: And basically were you told off?

Sanchez: Yes.

Lawyer: Was the defendant present?

Sanchez: Yes.

This afternoon was tough for Tera Chavez's family as OMI autopsy supervisor Dr. Patricia McFeeley went over the cause and the manner of Tera Chavez's death.

McFeeley is the one who changed the death certificate from "suicide" to undetermined". She explained why OMI might change someone's cause of death. "If there are concerns by law enforcement or sometimes by families, by other things that come up that seem like legitimate concerns, it would just be a matter of changing based on there is enough evidence to consider that it might not be," McFeeley said.

Perhaps one of the biggest moments for the prosecution came when they asked Dr. McFeeley if Tera could have hit the magazine release on the gun after the bullet destroyed her brain stem. "Yes, I have an opinion,” Dr. McFeeley said. “It’s that I don't believe she could do any voluntary act, whether it’s apply pressure or whatever. I don’t think she could do a voluntary act after that.”

The magazine release is an important detail, because the prosecution is trying to prove Tera's death was a homicide and that Levi Chavez killed her.

The prosecution is hoping to wrap up testimony by the end of the week.