Murderers get the bill

Carlton, Bravo ordered to pay restitution to Buus family

KINGMAN - Though the Buus family may never see it, Mohave County Judge Steven F. Conn ordered Raymond Douglas Orion Carlton and Veronica Bravo to pay at least $6,781 each in restitution for the murder of Christina Marie Buus of Kingman.

Defense attorney Rich Williams for Carlton, defense attorney Michael Hruby for Bravo and Mohave County Attorney Lee Jantzen all agreed on the amount covering two car cleanings, funeral expenses and mileage reimbursements for the Buus family to attend the court hearings and trial.

Carlton, 24, and Bravo, 18, were not in attendance because they waived their right to be present at the restitution hearing.

Jantzen argued for more than $118,000 in restitution for the Buus family for lost wages and other expenses incurred after the murder of their daughter, Christina, who was 19.

"Certain crimes are easy to define what is out of pocket, others are not," Jantzen said.

He added the case took more than a year to resolve and the Buus family had been in attendance at all hearings and trials for both Carlton and Bravo.

"This is a life-altering, life-changing crime," Jantzen said.

Timothy Buus, the father of the victim, testified to how he came about the amount requested, using funeral expenses, car maintenance expenses, medication, counseling and lost wages.

"I kind of went conservative with everything and didn't want to go over," Timothy Buus said.

Conn decided to examine all the receipts and requests made by the Buus family and will make a ruling later on any additional restitution.

Hruby and Williams argued the additional amount requested by the Buus family because they felt the losses were a result of consequential damage, which they argued could not be awarded in a criminal restitution hearing.

"Every parent of every victim would have to pay funeral expenses," Williams said.

"At the risk of sounding horribly callous, not every parent of every murder victim is required to take a year off of work."

Williams added he felt the Buus family was entitled to more than they were requesting, but the criminal case wasn't the forum to decide the larger amount.

"We hate being in this position, arguing about money in a case like this, but we have an obligation to the law," Williams said.

Carlton was sentenced on Nov. 1 to natural life in prison without parole for murder in the first degree of Buus. He was also sentenced to 15 years in prison for the aggravated assault charge to be served at the same time as his life sentence and three years and nine months for the misconduct involving a weapon to be served following his term in the event Judge Conn's decision is overturned in appellate court and Carlton is eligible for parole in 25 years.

Bravo, who was 16 years old at the time of the murder, was sentenced to 21 years in prison following a plea agreement she had endorsed earlier. She testified she stabbed Buus before Carlton shot Buus in the head while she pleaded for her life as they drove south toward Kingman on U.S. 93 on the way back from a trip to Las Vegas.