Jesse Hanes: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Jesse Hanes

Jesse Hanes. (Ross County Sheriff)

The man accused of murdering a New Mexico police officer was wanted on another murder charge from Ohio.

Jesse Hanes was charged with the “willful and deliberate first-degree murder” of police officer Jose Chavez, who was killed in a traffic stop on Aug. 12.

James Nelson II and a third man were also in the Lexus with Hanes when Officer Chavez stopped the vehicle, authorities say, but officials tell the media they believe Hanes was the officer’s shooter.

The third man was hitchhiking and won’t be charged, The Chicago Tribune said.

Here’s what you need to know:


1. Hanes & Nelson Were Wanted For Aggravated Murder in Ohio

The Ross County Sheriff’s Department’s wanted poster says the men were wanted in the murder of Theodore Timmons, 62. Timmons was found dead in his Ohio home in late July, says the Chillicothe Gazette.

Timmons, who worked for the city water department in the City of Chillicothe and was a bus driver, was shot multiple times, the newspaper said. The motive was not clear.

“Both suspects are believed to have fled the state after committing the murder,” says the wanted poster. “They should be considered armed and extremely dangerous. Both suspects have a violent criminal history.”


2. The Suspects Fled The Scene Traveling More Than 100 Miles Per Hour, Police Say

CNN says Chavez, 33, was murdered after pulling over the Lexus in Hatch, New Mexico. A passenger exited the suspect car and “fired shots,” the sheriff’s department said in a statement, CNN said.

The traffic stop occurred in the village of Hatch, which is near Las Cruces. Hanes was “holding paperwork and reaching for his service weapon” when he was shot, CBS said, according to police.

Some accounts of the shooting varied slightly. “Hanes reached through the window and shot” the officer, police said, according to The Chicago Tribune.

Another officer, who had arrived to assist, returned fire and a third officer started chasing the suspect car.

The suspect car took off, “at times exceeding speeds of 100 mph,” said CNN.


3. The Suspects Are Accused of Carjacking a Man & Shooting Him as They Fled

Police said that, after shooting Chavez, “one of the suspects was seen approaching motorists and demanding their keys.”

According to CBS, witnesses say “when one driver refused to go with the suspect, he was shot in the torso once.” The man was taken to a local hospital, but his condition was not known.

After taking a Chevrolet Cruze at a rest stop, the men went onto a state highway, but stop sticks were used to flatten their tires, and they eventually crashed into a wood pile, according to The Chillicothe Gazette. The men were then taken into custody.


4. Hanes Has a Lengthy Criminal Record & Was Shot in The Incident

According to The Chicago Tribune, both Hanes and Nelson have “violent criminal histories.” The Tribune says Hanes is recovering from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to his thigh.

Hanes is from Columbus, Ohio, says ABC News.

It’s not clear why Officer Chavez pulled the car over or whether he knew two of the men inside it were wanted for murder. The Tribune says Hanes was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in Columbus in 1995 and released from prison at age 32 but went back to prison in 2014 for robbery.


5. The Slain Officer Was a Father of Two Whose Sister Says ‘He Did Not Deserve This at All’

Officer Chavez had two children, the Chicago Tribune said. KOAT says they are ages 14 and 6.

Chavez’ sister, Patricia Ramirez, told KOAT: “We want justice because Jose was a great guy and he did not deserve this at all. It’s unfair.”

Chavez had served two years on the Hatch Police Department and graduated in 2013 from the Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Department Cadet Law Enforcement Academy, said ABC News.

Doña Ana County Sheriff Enrique ‘Kiki’ Vigil called Chavez “one of our best.”