New Mexico killer Damian Herrera gets 4 life sentences after convicted for 2017 rampage

A convicted murderer in New Mexico received four life sentences Friday following his conviction for a 2017 rampage that left four people dead.

The victims of defendant Damian Herrera, 26, of Ojo Caliente, included his own mother and two other family members, authorities said.

At a sentencing hearing on Friday, prosecutors recommended that District Judge Jason Lidyard hit Herrera with a maximum sentence for his actions, a local news outlet reported. Two of Herrera’s siblings, who spoke at the hearing, supported the prosecutors’ recommendation.

Lidyard ultimately agreed, issuing four life sentences — one for each murder — to be served consecutively.

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The judge also sentenced Herrera to an additional 9.5 years of prison time for aggravated fleeing from a police officer, possession of a stolen vehicle, resisting an officer, attempting to disarm an officer, assault on a peace officer, larceny of a firearm and credit card theft, KRQE-TV of Albuquerque reported.

Damian Herrera’s victims included his own mother and two other family members, authorities say.
(New Mexico State Police via AP)

A jury convicted Herrera on Aug. 13 on four counts of first-degree murder after prosecutors laid out the horrifying details of Herrera’s June 2017 murder spree.

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They claimed Herrera shot his stepfather, Max Trujillo, after a dispute, then shot his mother, Maria “Brenda” Gallegos, and his brother, Brendon Herrera, at their family home.

Trujillo and Brendon Herrera died at the scene, while Gallegos died the following day.

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After the initial shootings, Herrera (who was 21 at the time) fled the home, traveled 200 miles across New Mexico then shot and killed a fourth person, Manuel Serrano, at a gas station in Abiquiu. 

Herrera faces another first-degree murder charge in Taos County, as he allegedly killed a fifth person, Michael Alan Kyte, after stealing Kyte’s truck.

A view of a general store parking lot in Abiquiu, New Mexico, June 16, 2017, where a gunman shot and killed a 59-year-old Manuel Serrano a day earlier. 

A view of a general store parking lot in Abiquiu, New Mexico, June 16, 2017, where a gunman shot and killed a 59-year-old Manuel Serrano a day earlier. 
(Associated Press)

Sheriff’s deputies caught Herrera after they spotted the stolen pickup and pursued it. Herrera was apprehended after crashing into a tree.

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Herrera then ran toward the deputies, attempted to grab a firearm from one officer, but a second deputy used a stun gun on the suspect. He was taken into custody.

The convicted killer will face trial separately for the fifth killing, though a court date has not yet been announced. 
 

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