Convicted murderer Luther Hampson was sentenced Thursday by District Court Judge Douglas Walker to 25 years in prison.
Hampson, 28, pled guilty to second degree murder for killing Jonathan Hayes, 27, whose body was found by hikers Jan. 14, 2012 in a remote wooded area off County Road T, west of Dolores.
Hayes, of Dolores, died from a knife wound to the neck and had suffered a severe beating to his head, according to a coroner report. Montezuma County sheriff deputies found blood and the handle of a straight razor near his body.
Investigators believe the murder occurred Jan. 6 and was related to a drug deal gone wrong.
April Hawley, in an interview with investigators, said Hampson had become upset with Hayes over a recent drug deal.
Hampson reportedly told Hawley, “He’s (Hayes) got what’s coming to him.”
Hawley told investigators that two nights later, Hayes and Hampson arrived at her house, and went for a walk to the County Road T area. Hayes “seemed nervous about going for the walk and felt Hampson was going to whip Hayes’ ass,” according to Hawley’s statement.
Hawley reported to police that the next night Hampson arrived at her house with a severe cut on his hand that required stitches. In showing Hawley the wound, Hampson told her he had “graduated,” a gang reference to a major crime.
State Special Prosecutor Daniel W. Edwards assisted with the case. Edwards is part of the state attorney general’s Homicide Assistance Team, which provides support to homicide investigations and prosecution.
Edwards argued that Hampson was angry at Hayes and his statements after the death are indicative of his guilt.
“Mr. Hampson knew that Jonathan Hayes had been stabbed before that information was released to the public,” Edwards said.
Montezuma County Sheriff Detective Tyson Cox testified that Hampson sought help at a residence a mile from the murder scene. He had a cut on his hand and blood on his clothes.
When asked if he had hurt himself, Hampson reportedly replied, “No. People shouldn’t piss me off.”