Alleged Shooter of NM Officer Hit with More Federal Charges
An Ohio man was charged with federal firearms and carjacking offenses arising out of an Aug. 12, 2016 traffic stop in Hatch, N.M., when he allegedly shot and killed Hatch Police Officer Jose Chavez.
The charges against Jesse Denver Hanes, 38, of Columbus, Ohio, were announced Tuesday by U.S. Attorney Damon P. Martinez of the District of New Mexico and Special Agent in Charge Terry Wade of the FBI’s Albuquerque Division.
Hanes is charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm, carjacking and discharging a firearm during a crime of violence. The criminal complaint alleges that Hanes committed these crimes in Doña Ana County, New Mexico, on Aug. 12. At the time, Hanes was prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition because of his status as a convicted felon.
Hanes was arrested Tuesday afternoon by the FBI at a hospital in El Paso, Texas, where he is recovering from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Hanes was also charged with the first-degree murder of Officer Chavez in a criminal complaint filed in the Third Judicial District Court for the state of New Mexico in Doña Ana County, and the state’s murder investigation is continuing. Additionally, Hanes is facing an unrelated murder charge in Ohio.
According to the federal criminal complaint, on the afternoon of Aug. 12, Officer Chavez executed a traffic stop in Hatch on a Lexus driven by Hanes and in which two other men were passengers. During the traffic stop, Hanes allegedly shot Officer Chavez in the upper torso. Officer Chavez died later that night as a result of the gunshot wound.
The criminal complaint alleges that after Hanes and his passengers fled from the scene of the shooting in the Lexus, Hanes shot himself in the leg/groin-area. After Hanes and his passengers parted company, Hanes stopped at a rest area near Radium Springs, New Mexico, where he allegedly shot a motorist and carjacked the motorist’s vehicle, a Chevrolet. The motorist suffered a serious injury and remains hospitalized in stable condition.
If convicted of the crimes charged in the federal criminal complaint, Hanes faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison for unlawfully possessing a firearm and 25 years in prison on the carjacking charge. If convicted for discharging a firearm during the carjacking, Hanes faces a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in prison, which must be served consecutive to any sentence imposed on the other charges. These potential penalties apply only to the federal charges and are beyond any penalties that may be imposed under state laws.
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