Ohio man who killed Hatch police officer sentenced to life without parole

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (KRQE) – He will never be on the streets again. Thursday, cop killer Jesse Hanes was put away for life for the murder of a Hatch police officer.

Jesse Hanes was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, but before he was sentenced, Officer Jose Chavez’s family made it clear how much they have suffered in the wake of his murder.

“To me, it’s personal, and as his mother, the death of my son has left an unimaginable emptiness in my heart,” Chavez’s mother said.

As she wept in her chair inside the Las Cruces courtroom, she asked the judge to give Jesse Hanes the maximum sentence. Hanes pleaded guilty to killing her son, a Hatch police officer, in August of last year.

He and another man were on the run from Ohio, accused of murdering an EMT at his home during a robbery. Police said Hanes shot officer Chavez after he pulled them over.

Hanes then fled the scene, carjacked a driver, and then shot and wounded him.

He took a plea deal in May, saying he wanted to spare the officer’s family of a trial.

“I’d like to apologize to the family of the officer and let them know I’m sorry,” Hanes said in court Thursday.

Chavez was a two-year veteran with the Hatch Police Department.

His sister and father also shared emotional statements with the judge. His mother even gave the judge a photo of her son to look at while her statement was read aloud.

Chavez will serve his sentence in a maximum security prison. He is also awaiting sentencing on federal gun and carjacking charges. 

Hanes’ passenger that day, James Nelson, already pleaded guilty to drug charges and is serving three years.

Neither man has been tried in the Ohio murder case.




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