Jury selection is set to begin Monday in Santa Fe in the trial of Damian Herrera, who is accused of committing a string of killings across Northern New Mexico in June 2017 that left five people dead.
Prosecutors say Herrera, 25, killed his mother, Maria “Brenda” Rosita Gallegos, 49; his brother, Brendon Herrera, 20; and his stepfather, Max Trujillo Sr., 55; after an argument at the family home in La Madera.
Herrera is accused of killing 61-year-old Michael Kyte about two hours later in Taos County after Herrera ran out of gas and asked Kyte for help.
Prosecutors say he also shot and killed Manuel Serrano, 59, that evening outside Bode’s General Store in Abiquiú.
Rio Arriba County sheriff’s deputies arrested Herrera shortly after the Abiquiú shooting following a high-speed chase.
Herrera faces four counts of first-degree murder and other charges in connection with the Rio Arriba County slayings.
He will be tried separately in connection with the Taos County murder. A trial date has yet to be scheduled in that case.
The trial that will begin Monday has faced several delays. Questions about Herrera’s mental health arose after two of his sisters said he had told them he heard voices.
Herrera was sent to the state hospital in Las Vegas after a judged deemed him mentally incapable of standing trial.
In January 2020, experts determined Herrera was healthy enough to stand trial, but the case was further delayed by the coronavirus pandemic.
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