Suspect pleads guilty to crime sprees that left retired police officer dead
LAS CRUCES, N.M. (KFOX14) —
One of two people charged with killing a retired Las Cruces police officer has admitted she is guilty of the crime.
Trista Schlaefli struck a plea deal in federal court Tuesday afternoon.
She pleaded guilty to six felony counts.
-- High-speed flight from an immigration checkpoint – five years of imprisonment and a $250,000 fine.
-- Carjacking – 15 years of imprisonment and a $250,000 fine.
-- Carjacking resulting in death – life imprisonment and a $250,000 fine.
-- Attempted carjacking – 15 years of imprisonment and a $250,000 fine.
-- Possession of unauthorized access devices – 10 years of imprisonment and a $250,000 fine.
-- Aiding and abetting brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence – mandatory minimum of seven years and maximum of life imprisonment to be served consecutive to any other sentence imposed.
Her sentencing date has not yet been set.
She has also agreed to testify against her co-defendant, Daniel Lowell.
The two were in a stolen SUV last November when they slammed into J.R. Stewart, who was on his motorcycle.
He died minutes later at the hospital.
Investigators said Lowell and Schlaefli were high on drugs when they carjacked a couple and stole their SUV
They said the suspects then led police through Las Cruces, at times going the wrong way on surface streets and the interstate.
Lowell remains in jail Tuesday.
He is set to go on trial in late January.
If convicted, he faces life in prison.