For Immediate Release
Carlsbad Trio Facing Life in Prison Following Trial for Carjacking Resulting in Death
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – On Nov. 12 a federal jury in Las Cruces convicted two defendants of carjacking resulting in death following a nearly two-week trial.
On the night of May 27, 2019, Stetson Shane Barnes, 29, of Loving, New Mexico, Donald Alfred Busch, 33, of Carlsbad, New Mexico, and a third person traveled to the victim’s home in Loving with an accomplice, Jehra Lynn Hedgecock, 33, of Carlsbad. The group had conspired to steal a motorcycle from the victim, identified in court records as J.S.
Upon the group arriving at the victim’s residence in Hedgecock’s truck, Hedgecock knocked at the front door in an attempt to lure J.S. outside. Meanwhile, Busch located the motorcycle he wanted to steal under the victim’s carport and began pushing it away. As the victim emerged from his home, Barnes, Busch and Hedgecock all pointed firearms at him. Jurors heard testimony that Busch ordered J.S. back into his home while holding him at gunpoint.
While Busch continued to push the motorcycle off the victim’s property, Hedgecock and Barnes got into Hedgecock’s truck. As they began to drive away, Barnes fired twelve shots from the truck into the residence, the last of which struck and killed J.S. The victim’s father testified that J.S. called him to ask for help, and that he was on the phone with J.S. when he heard gunshots ring out. According to courtroom testimony, J.S. was taking cover in the back room of his home when he was struck by the last bullet fired by Barnes.p
After the shooting, Hedgecock stopped the truck on the side of the road where Barnes helped Busch to load the motorcycle in the back of the truck, and the conspirators fled. Hedgecock’s truck was found burning in a ravine outside Carlsbad the following day and J.S.’s motorcycle was later recovered from Barnes’ property.
Hedgecock pleaded guilty on July 22 to one count of conspiracy, one count of carjacking resulting in death and one count of using, brandishing and carrying a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence and possessing and brandishing a firearm in furtherance of such crime.
Barnes and Busch were found guilty of conspiracy to commit carjacking, carjacking resulting in death, and being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition. Busch was also found guilty of using and carrying a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.
Barnes, Busch and Hedgecock remain in custody pending sentencing, which has not been scheduled. The maximum statutory penalty for all three defendants is up to life in prison.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives investigated this case with assistance from New Mexico State Police and the Eddy County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant United States Attorneys Maria Y. Armijo and Ry Ellison are prosecuting this case.
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