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Wife in Air Force husband killing to stand trial

Aug. 20, 2014 - 05:18PM   |  
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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A woman who police say killed her Air Force officer husband during an Albuquerque party will stand trial for second-degree murder and manslaughter, a state judge ruled Wednesday.

After two days of testimony during a probable cause hearing, Second District Judge Briana Zamora issued her ruling against Amy Herrera. But Zamora declined to allow prosecutors to seek first-degree murder charges, citing a lack of evidence.

Herrera, 32, has twice avoided trial for the 2012 death of her husband because indictments were dismissed.

Authorities said Marc Herrera, 37, an Air Force major, was found dead from an apparent gunshot wound in July 2012.

According to witnesses, Herrera was heavily intoxicated when he arrived at his northeast Albuquerque home during a party attended by University of New Mexico foreign students in July 2012.

His death was initially believed to have been a suicide after he and his wife struggled over a gun.

A former friend of Amy Herrera testified Tuesday that Herrera told her that she killed her husband.

"We were just eating dinner, and out of the clear blue, she said she needed to tell us some stuff that was eventually going to come out anyway," Stephanie Taylor testified.

Asked what Herrera told her, Taylor said, "That she killed Marc."

However, defense witness Elizabeth Downes testified that Amy Herrera, her co-worker, had disclosed Marc Herrera had been drinking and had become increasingly violent.

Herrera's attorneys said she was acting in self-defense.

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