Jurors deliberate in retrial of veteran’s 2016 killing

May 3—Jurors started deliberating Friday in the retrial of a person beforehand convicted in the 2016 capturing demise of an Army veteran throughout an Albuquerque ATM theft.

Matthew Chavez, 34, was convicted in 2018 of second-degree homicide and tried armed theft and sentenced to 23 1/2 years in jail for the capturing demise of 24-year-old Tyler Lackey.

In October 2021, the New Mexico Court of Appeals dominated that the district choose was mistaken to reject Chavez’s request for an instruction that might have allowed the jury to contemplate a lesser cost of voluntary manslaughter.

Then-New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas filed a petition asking the New Mexico Supreme Court to evaluate the choice. The state’s highest courtroom rejected the petition in 2023, clearing the best way for a retrial.Chavez’s retrial in 2nd Judicial District Court on fees of second-degree homicide and tampering with proof started Monday earlier than Judge Cindy Leos.

Prosecutors argued on Friday that Chavez fired the deadly photographs in an try to flee seize after Lackey drew a gun and confronted Chavez in the course of the tried theft.

Assistant Attorney General John Duran advised jurors that Chavez realized he was “busted” and tried to get away, first by pleading with Lackey, then by capturing him.

The three gunshots Chavez fired at Lackey had been supposed as a “means of escape” after Lackey cornered Chavez in his automotive, Duran advised jurors.

“I would submit to you that Tyler (Lackey) shot his gun nearly simultaneously” when Chavez fired, Duran stated. Lackey’s gunshot might have been a “reflexive” motion when Chavez opened fireplace, he stated.

Chavez then sped out of the car parking zone of a pizza restaurant at Gibson and Yale SE and later set fireplace to the car in an alley, Duran stated.

Chavez’s lawyer, Maxwell Pines, argued that Lackey grew to become the aggressor when he drew a handgun, adopted Chavez to his automotive and pointed his weapon at Chavez and his girlfriend.

Lackey “lost his cool” after Chavez approached him from behind on the ATM and demanded cash, Pines advised jurors.

Lackey was killed on Feb. 5, 2016, after making a money withdrawal from an ATM on Gibson Boulevard.

Prosecutors allege that Chavez initiated the lethal confrontation by making an attempt to rob Lackey, who had a concealed-carry allow and drew a handgun to defend himself.

Chavez’s attorneys argued that Lackey escalated the battle by pointing a gun at Chavez and his girlfriend.

Lackey’s response “went way beyond a reasonable response,” Pines advised jurors. “It developed into an out-of-control situation. Mr. Chavez is petrified and trapped.”

He cited testimony in the course of the weeklong trial that he stated indicated that Lackey fired the primary gunshot, which struck the steering wheel of Chavez’s automotive.

“Shooting a gun into a car occupied by two people is not a justified response” to an tried theft, Pines advised jurors. Chavez then returned fireplace in self-defense, he stated.

Chavez “is not guilty because he reasonably acted in self-defense in this case,” Pines stated.

Assistant Attorney General Jennifyr Vickery advised jurors that Chavez’s actions after the killing point out that Chavez was conscious of his guilt. Those actions included disposing of his gun and cellphones, burning his automotive and fleeing New Mexico.

“If (Chavez) believed that he had acted in self-defense, as the defense is trying to say, would he have burned the car immediately following the shooting?” Vickery requested jurors.

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