- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 28, 2017

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - A defense attorney for the 21-year-old accused of shooting to death three relatives and two strangers in a rampage across northern New Mexico said the suspect still has the love and support of his family.

Prosecutors continued to gather and analyze evidence linking Damian Herrera of Ojo Caliente to the June 15 shooting spree, as the case moved Wednesday toward a grand jury review.

Search warrants filed in state district court and unsealed Tuesday say authorities found a revolver, a rifle with a scope and dozens of rounds of ammunition in one of the trucks Damian Herrera is believed to have used the day of the shootings.

Police have accused Herrera of killing his mother, stepfather and brother before killing a man who stopped to help him when he ran out of gas and another man he encountered hours later at a gas station.

Todd Farkas, a public defense attorney with the state’s capital crimes unit, said Wednesday that Herrera still has the support of his family.

“He has a lot of family support, that much I can tell,” said Farkas, who declined to discuss individual family members. “He’s loved by his family, his entire family.”

Police say Herrera’s sister and others were at the family’s home in La Madera when the shootings began.

Herrera currently is facing four counts of murder filed by authorities based in Rio Arriba County. Prosecutors based in Taos County also have been assembling evidence against Herrera in the killing that took place at Tres Piedras.

A preliminary hearing scheduled Wednesday was canceled after prosecutors requested an extension as they prepare for the grand jury.

“It’s a complex case in the sense that it is all over northern New Mexico,” First Judicial District Attorney Marco Serna said.

After the three initial shootings, authorities allege Herrera traveled roughly 200 miles (322 kilometers) through northern New Mexico on Forest Service roads and winding two-lane highways.

Police say Herrera, while headed north toward the New Mexico-Colorado state line, killed Michael Kyte and took his truck. Hours later, officers spotted him near the small community of Abiquiu, where he was accused of killing a fifth victim, Manuel Serrano, who worked nearby at the home and studio of the late artist Georgia O’Keeffe.

Herrera led officers on chase before crashing and being taken into custody.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports (https://bit.ly/2smBRpx ) the warrants provide a list of items found in two pickup trucks police believe Herrera drove that day, but they offer few clues about what may have sparked the bloody spree.

Police said they recovered a .38-caliber revolver that Herrera is believed to have used.

Among the other things police found inside Kyte’s truck were a wallet, driver’s license, Social Security card and other credit cards that belonged to Herrera’s stepfather.

Police also found a black handbag containing a temporary driver’s license that belonged to his mother.

According to one of the warrants, Rio Arriba County deputies found cartridges and a black glove with suspected bloodstains in the family truck Herrera initially took.

State police officers seized Herrera’s black belt and knife holster, and the clothing he was wearing the day of the shooting, including a bloodstained shirt.

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