Albuquerque Police Chief Ray Schultz says all but one of the officers who showed up at the home of a fellow officer after his wife was shot to death in the couple's Valencia County home were there on their own time.Uh... Excuse us but aren't these trained and sworn officers? It really doesn't matter whether they were on duty, of duty, or on vacation for that matter. Anyone who's watched more than one episode of Law and Order knows that you don't go trampling around a room containing a dead body unless your intent is to contaminate the crime scene.
We don't have a problem with officers going down there on their own time - we have a problem with the stunning lack of professionalism shown by the nine APD officers who allegedly entered an active crime scene. At the very least these officers made the jobs of OMI and the Valencia County Sheriff's Department much more difficult. At worst, they could have made prosecuting a murderer next to impossible.
"At the start of this, we truly believed it was a suicide," said Aaron Jones, the lead investigator for Valencia County. "Once we started looking at some things we didn't have knowledge of until days later, we realized it might not be a suicide. By then, the damage had been done to the investigation. We have learned a lot from this investigation."We don't know what's more frightening, nine officers stupidly trashing a crime scene or the revelation that VCSO's lead detective learned that having nine people trampling a crime scene is a bad idea.
No one may ever truly know what happened to Tera Chavez, particularly since our Eyes tell us that the VCSO isn't exactly known for its investigative prowess. When you add nine APD officers who should have known better to the mix what you're left with is incompetence and a few lame excuses.