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New Mexico Supreme Court affirms 4 murder convictions of man in 2017 fatal shootings

SANTA FE – The New Mexico Supreme Court on Thursday affirmed the murder convictions of a man who is serving four consecutive life prison terms for the 2017 shooting deaths of three family members and a stranger in Rio Arriba County.

Damian Herrera was accused of murdering his mother, brother and stepfather following an argument at the family’s home in La Madera, north of Española.

Authorities said Herrera then fled to Abiquiu, where he shot and killed a fourth victim at a gas station.

Herrera was 26 when he was sentenced in January 2022.

The state Supreme Court on Thursday also remanded the case to the First Judicial District Court to vacate either Herrera’s conviction for resisting, evading or obstructing an officer or his conviction for assault on a police officer.

The court said the two misdemeanor convictions violated constitutional double jeopardy protections against multiple punishments for the same offense.

Herrera was sentenced to 364 days incarceration for each of those convictions.

The state's high court left in place Herrera’s other convictions for aggravated fleeing a law enforcement officer, possession of a stolen motor vehicle, attempted disarming of a peace officer, larceny of a firearm, and credit card theft.

He was sentenced to 18 months in prison for each of the convictions, with the sentences to run consecutively.