Duo sentenced to 40 years in prison for carjacking resulting in death

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FILE PHOTO: American flag waves outside the U.S. Department of Justice Building in Washington

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Alexander M.M. Uballez, United States Attorney for the District of New Mexico, announced that Stetson Shane Barnes, 30, of Loving, New Mexico, and Donald Alfred Busch, 34, of Carlsbad, New Mexico, were each sentenced to 40 years in prison following a conviction for their parts in a carjacking resulting in death.

On Nov. 12, 2021, after a nearly two-week trial, a federal jury convicted Barnes and Busch of conspiracy to commit carjacking, carjacking resulting in death, and being felons in possession of firearms and ammunition. Busch was also found guilty of using and carrying a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.

On the night of May 27, 2019, Barnes, Busch and Tyson Lee Terrell 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.

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, 2021, 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. Sentencing for Hedgecock is scheduled for Jan. 10, 2023.

Terrell pleaded guilty on Jan. 20 to one count of conspiracy. On July 22, Terrell was sentenced to four years 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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