CARLSBAD, N.M. (KRQE) – A federal court has decided Donald Busch and Stetson Barnes from Carlsbad and Loving deserve 40 years in prison after trying to steal a motorcycle in 2019. The bike’s owner allegedly confronted Busch and his collaborators with a gun before Barnes shot and killed the bike’s owner.
The victim died for a dirt bike worth about $6,000 when new, according to a vehicle identification search. Here’s how it all went down, according to court documents and press releases from the U.S. Department of Justice.
According to info one of the accomplices gave to the police, the band had met up and planned to steal a motorcycle from a home in Loving, New Mexico. On the night of May 2019, Barnes and Busch, each in their 30s, along with two accomplices, drove to the victim’s home in Loving, New Mexico.
Home security video footage allegedly shows the four arriving at the house before one of the accomplices knocks on the front door. The video reportedly shows Busch try to start the motorcycle, which is sitting beneath a carport at the home.
The homeowner emerges from the home and stands on the porch as several of the thieves point guns at the homeowner. A witness from within the home later told police that she believed the homeowner had retrieved a pistol to confront the thieves.
Busch was unable to start the motorcycle, so he began pushing it down the road, away from the house. His accomplices got back into their truck and began driving away, as they fired around six to 10 shots toward the home, according to an affidavit from an Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) agent.
One of the bullets struck the homeowner in the head. Afterward, the Lovington Police arrived and found the man already deceased.
The getaway truck was later found abandoned and burning in a ravine near Carlsbad. And the motorcycle was later recovered by Eddy County sheriffs where Barnes and an accomplice lived, according to the ATF affidavit.
The two accomplices pled guilty to charges related to the crime. Busch pled guilty to several charges and was found guilty of illegally taking a motor vehicle. The court sentenced Busch to 40 years in prison, which he will likely serve in federal prison in Phoenix, Arizona or in Oklahoma, according to the court’s judgment. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, Barnes was also sentenced to 40 years.