Hatch officer's killer sentenced on federal charges | KOB 4

Hatch officer's killer sentenced on federal charges

J.R. Oppenheim
March 01, 2018 05:16 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- The Ohio man who pleaded guilty to fatally shooting a Hatch police officer in August 2016 and was sentenced on state charges will also serve a life sentence for a federal gun and carjacking conviction.


Federal authorities on Thursday announced the sentence for 40-year-old Jesse Denver Hanes. He shot and killed police officer Jose Chavez, a two-year veteran of the force, during a traffic stop in Doña Ana County.

"Today, the law enforcement community made good on its pledge to hold Jesse Denver Hanes fully accountable for his day-long violent crime spree that included the murder of Hatch Police Officer Jose Chavez and the carjacking of three victims, and broke the hearts of Officer Chavez’s family, the Hatch Police Department and the Village of Hatch," said U.S. Attorney John Anderson. 

Hanes took a plea deal in May 2017, admitting to the first-degree murder. He was sentenced on that charge last September.

His federal charges stemmed from the events after he shot Chavez in the chest, authorities said. Hanes, along with two other men in his vehicle, immediately fled after he opened fire. He parted ways with the other two men and tried to carjack two people at a rest area near Radium Springs.

Hanes then shot a man at the rest area and took off with his car. Sheriff's deputies eventually caught Hanes and found him with the same gun he used on Chavez.

Federal investigators handed down five charges on Hanes -- attempted carjacking, brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence, carjacking resulting in serious bodily injury, discharging a firearm during a crime of violence, and felon in possession of a firearm. He pleaded guilty to those counts in May 2017.

Hatch Police Chief James Gimler expressed his gratitude to the federal agents for their efforts to convict Hanes.

"The loss of Officer Chavez was a tragedy, but I am inspired by the way that our community came together to support him and his family," he said. "Knowing that Mr. Hanes will spend the rest of his life in prison cannot bring Officer Chavez back, but I hope that his family will find some solace in knowing that his killer will never again walk the streets a free man and that he will never again be able to take an innocent person's life."

Hanes still has criminal charges for a murder in Ohio.


J.R. Oppenheim

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