The Rio Arriba County Sheriff's Office has charged two people with murder in the killings of two men in Petaca, an unincorporated community about 67 miles north of Santa Fe.

According to a criminal complaint, 53-year-old Anthony Peña is suspected of fatally shooting Larry Herrera, while 43-year-old Bonita Burkheimer is suspected of shooting and killing Michael Barela outside a home on N.M. 519 Monday night.

After parking his pickup in the front yard, Peña got out of his vehicle and began yelling at Herrera while holding a rifle, a witness told investigators.

After firing his gun at Herrera, Peña said he was going to shoot Barela next.

Burkheimer, who also was carrying a rifle, got out of the pickup and said, "No, I will shoot this [expletive]," according to the complaint.

After shooting Barela, Burkheimer brandished a knife and tried to stab the witness, according to the complaint. Peña yelled, "Come on! Let's go," and Burkheimer climbed into the pickup and they drove off. 

When sheriff's deputies arrived, they found two bodies lying on the ground. Herrera was shot in his right leg, upper chest near his left shoulder and lower neck near his right shoulder. Barela was shot in the side of his stomach.

A short while later, Peña and Burkheimer were arrested when they returned to the scene.

Deputies found Peña's pickup parked near a mobile home along County Road 274. Blood was spattered on the rear of the vehicle, and investigators found a rifle inside the truck. They found another rifle hidden under the skirting of the mobile home, according to the complaint. 

Peña had been jumped by Herrera and Barela before the shooting, another witness told investigators.

Peña and Burkheimer are both charged with murder, being an accessory to murder, tampering with evidence, conspiracy and other crimes.

(1) comment

Ramon Martinez

What a POS to shot a 75 year old man. How the f*#k was this POS out of jail anyways , he had just shot someone in December.

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