Clovis, NM – Ninth Judicial District Attorney, Quentin Ray, announced that on July 13, 2023, that Jayme Kushman pled guilty to 5 counts of Child Abuse (3rd degree felony), and Jaime Sena pled no contest to 4 counts of Child Abuse (3rd degree felony).
The incident stems from an investigation that started in July of 2022 by New Mexico State Police and Children Youth and Families Department after receiving a tip about children being locked in cages. Six children were found to be living in unsanitary living conditions with Kushman and Sena. After NMSP executed search warrants of the home they found three days of security footage of the children’s bedroom that shows the children being starved, beaten, and chained up for long periods of time. One child was chained to his bed for 14 consecutive hours with no food, water, or access to go to the bathroom. In the most disturbing video, Kushman can be seen smashing an eleven-year-old child’s face into vomit. The child is seen on video saying he has not eaten in 2 days.
The Honorable Judge Tatum presided over the hearing and sentenced, Jayme Kushman to 15 years in the Department of Corrections finding that each count was a Serious Violent Offence. This means that Kushman will be forced to serve a minimum of 85% of her sentence before she can be considered for release on parole. Jamie Sena was sentenced to six years in the Department of Corrections. Judge Tatum, who presided over both cases, remarked, “I have been on the bench for 16 years and this case is high up on my list of cruel and inhumane actions against a child. Inhumane, disgusting, and cruel punishment. This child’s innocence was stolen by you. I have seen movies about prisoners of war and this child was treated similarly. These children will overcome this as they get treatment and therapy.”
The case was prosecuted by District Attorney, Quentin Ray and Deputy District Attorney, Brian Scott Stover. Kushman was represented by Criminal Defense Attorney, Frank Rio of Clovis and Sena was represented by Blake Dugger of Hobbs.
Lora Melancon is expected to plead guilty to Child Abuse (2 counts) on Monday July 17th.
DA, Quentin Ray would like to acknowledge the investigation done by NMSP Agents Gerardo Hernandez, Kenny Villarreal, Justin Tiemann and Ashley Dunn. DA Ray would also like to recognize Misti Valdez (formerly with CYFD) on her outstanding and persistent work on this case as well as recognize Deputy District Attorney, Brian Stover for his countless hours spent on this case and his continued dedication to securing justice for these children.
For more information, please contact the Office of the District Attorney, at 575-769-2246.