Dateline   |  September 20, 2013

'The Officer's Wife' part 5

The detective learns that Tera's husband Levi had been having multiple affairs.  The detective starts to question Levi in Tera's death.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> homicide and not suicide, then her husband levi would be a natural suspect and it didn't take long for detective aaron jones to find out when it came to levi chavez , the albuquerque cop, there apparently was something about a man in uniform. levi is a very charming guy.

>> a very charming guy.

>> clearly knows how to talk to women.

>> he clearly does.

>> there's no evidence that levi knew about tera's brief affair with nick wheeler , but it turns out that levi was carrying far more secrets than his late wife had. levi had been cheating on tera. but that doesn't quite tell the story. levi chavez was wracking up infidelities at a rate that might have made tiger woods want to take notes. tera's friend melanie says that kind of thing had been going on since high school .

>> and it wasn't just one girl, two girls, it was numerous girls.

>> so he never really stopped.

>> no.

>> detective jones tracked down this woman, rose, a married mother of three. rose says at the time of tera's death she and levi had been sleeping together for two years.

>> by the time i came around, i was shocked to be number three.

>> you were the third affair he had?

>> no, it was on his phone. i was number three on his phone speed dial .

>> so levi was open with you not just that he was married, but that he in addition to being married and in addition to having an affair with you had another girlfriend, someone higher up in the hierarchy than you were. and you were okay with that?

>> yeah.

>> juggling multiple mistresses while married was apparently nothing new for levi . rose says his multi tasking skills made it possible.

>> how many other women besides you was levi chavez having an affair with.

>> ten.

>> ten.

>> you and nine other women?

>> yes.

>> how did levi find the time to be with ten different women and still presumably also, you know, fight crime.

>> we were almost neighbors, we lived really close to each other.

>> that would be essential in a situation like that. you couldn't have a one hour commute to see somebody, when there's like nine others.

>> i think a couple others lived around us.

>> where did you and levi meet up?

>> the running trail, the kids' school, my school, duck ponds between our houses.

>> meeting outdoors?

>> even if i went to his house and the kids were there, he would pop in a movie, have the kids watch a movie, we would take off and do adult things.

>> and rose says those adult things didn't have anything to do with love.

>> i didn't love him. i just --

>> this was just sex?

>> just sex.

>> but listen to this. one time when rose and levi were together at his house, she noticed a photo near the bed.

>> i put two and two together, now that's levi . he said yeah, we're married.

>> rose recognized the woman in the photograph because she knew tera and had just figured out she was sleeping with her hairstylist's husband. you say great, honey, lie down, not i have to get out of here, this is weird.

>> it was a little weird, i am not going to lie, but seemed to be no love lost between them, no love there, so i didn't care.

>> rose told detective jones a lot about her affair with levi , but didn't seem to know anything useful about tera's death. so jones turned to others on levi 's speed dial , including heather hindy, a fellow cop in levi 's department. she had been on "cops" the tv show . jones interviewed heather, but she didn't seem to have any leads, so he found levi 's more serious girlfriend at the time, another cop named debra romero.

>> i think she believed levi was going to be the real deal for her.

>> levi had admitted to jones in their very first conversation that he had been with another woman the night tera died. now debra romero would become a key part of jones ' investigation as he began to track levi 's whereabouts that weekend.

>> you said he hadn't been home until he discovered the body.

>> right.

>> the detective believed tera had been killed sometime on saturday night and levi 's story was that he had been off duty until midnight and then went to debra 's house. jones went to talk to her.

>> what is the first recollection that you have of seeing him physically at your house?

>> when i woke up, he came into the bedroom, still in uniform.

>> debra confirmed she was with levi from the time he got off work that night until the following evening.

>> you guys were together the whole time, it was an outing for both of you together? so mistress has alibi, not a squeaky clean defense but the stories were in synch. jones still had questions for levi . next time he came to his office, jones set up a camera to record the conversation without levi knowing. he wanted to see how levi would react to the suggestion tera had not killed herself.

>> you caught him off guard?

>> i did. i wanted to make him know i had concerns about some of the behavior going on.

>> at first it was all pretty routine.

>> whatever you need, i mean, i'm -- i am not hiding nothing.

>> then jones told levi he suspected tera had been murdered.

>> levi , do you understand why the whole thing looks like [bleep].

>> no, i really don't.

>> when i walked in your house that night, man, i really honestly believed it was suicide, but the problem is, man, the evidence don't lie. somebody killed your wife.

>> i don't know. that blows my mind. it would be easier telling the kids that than what i think happened, but i think i would have saw something.

>> jones tells levi he has some questions about all those women.

>> what it looks like is you have so many fricking girlfriends.

>> i know.

>> you got so many, you don't even know their names.

>> i told you that, i know.

>> you're like a major romeo.

>> a major romeo who said he still cared for his wife despite those infidelity.

>> business partner , kid raising partner.

>> partner.

>> almost looks like she was your nanny.

>> i'm sorry, man, if you want me to --

>> i am divorced, bad husbands, i probably take the cake.

>> he admits to some of the affairs, to being a bad husband, says he is no murderer. i don't see a guy that looks tremendously guilty there, but you did.

>> well, not necessarily over just that. it was the totality of everything.

>> that's because the totality of everything for jones included some startling information he was getting, something tera's family and friends say she told them just before she died.