Jesse Hanes sentenced to life in prison for slaying of Hatch police officer


A Las Cruces District Judge sentenced Jesse Hanes to a mandatory life in prison without the possibility of parole sentence Thursday afternoon for the slaying of Hatch police officer Jose Chavez in August 2016.

The state of New Mexico does not carry the death sentence for capital offenses.



Ohio-native Jesse Hanes will be sentenced in a Las Cruces courtroom Thursday afternoon after pleading guilty to first degree murder for shooting and killing Hatch police officer Jose Chavez.

Hanes took a plea agreement in May for Officer Chavez's shooting death in August, 2016. Per the agreement Hanes will serve life in prison without the possibility of parole for the capital offense. In exchange six lesser charges were dropped against Hanes.

On May 31st, when Hanes accepted the plea deal Dona Ana County District Attorney Mark D'Antonio stepped in front of our cameras explaining that he believes the outcome is a win-win for everyone involved.

"By not having a trial in this matter the DA's office saves countless amounts of resources and money given our state's current budget crisis. In addition it saved the family the horror of going through the step by step murder facts of the case. That's something nobody should live through twice," D'Antonio said.

Officer Chavez was conducting a routine traffic stop on Hanes' car on August 12th, 2016 when Hanes shot Chavez.

He then fled the scene, heading to a nearby rest stop, shooting another man and stealing their car. Hanes pleaded guilty in May to a series of federal charges for that portion of the crime spree. He will serve those charges concurrently with the murder charge.

Officer Chavez was a two-year veteran of the police force. He leaves behind a wife and two children.

Hanes' sentencing hearing will be at 1:30 p.m. today in Courtroom 6 at the Third Judicial District Court 201 W. Picacho Ave., Las Cruces, NM 88005


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