Public defense assigned to suspect in New Mexico shootings - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: newswest9.com |

Public defense assigned to suspect in New Mexico shootings

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - A 21-year-old man charged with multiple counts of murder in connection with a shooting spree last week across northern New Mexico will receive legal representation from public defenders at the state's capital crimes unit.

New Mexico Chief Public Defender Bennett Baur said Monday that Damian Herrera is unable to pay for his own defense and has been assigned to public attorneys who specialize in severe criminal charges.

Herrera is accused by police and prosecutors of fatally shooting his stepfather, brother and mother at the family's home in La Madera on Thursday. Authorities say Herrera then traveled 200 miles (322 kilometers) across New Mexico and fatally shot two more people before his arrest the same day.

Baur says Herrera will plead not guilty to provide defense attorneys with access to evidence.

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