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Community Mourns Slain Indiana Family

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Candlelight flickered Sunday night as a neighborhood united on the street for song and prayer outside the home where seven family members were gunned down three days earlier.

Relatives said they were touched by the outpouring of support that crossed the lines of race and religion.

"The reaction of the community — we've never seen anything like this before," said Luis Juarez, whose sister-in-law, Emma Valdez, was killed.

Some were comforted by news that police believed they had arrested the two men accused of gunning down 46-year-old Valdez, 56-year-old Alberto Covarrubias, their two adult children, two young children and a grandchild.

Among the 500 gathered at the bilingual memorial service was Indianapolis Mayor Bart Peterson who praised the community and thanked investigators.

The police said they had put pressure on people who knew the main suspect to ensure that they wouldn't give him refuge during a two-day manhunt.

On Saturday night, Desmond Turner, a 28-year-old prison parolee, surrendered to officers at a fast-food restaurant while accompanied by relatives.

Turner, who finished serving a 3½-year prison term on drug and weapons charges last fall, was being held without bond Sunday on seven charges of murder and one charge of robbery, jail records indicated.

Formal charges likely would be filed Tuesday, Marion County prosecutor Carl Brizzi said.

He also said he would seek the death penalty against Turner. "It deserves the strongest sanction possible," Brizzi said.

Another suspect, 30-year-old James Stewart, was arrested Friday after a traffic stop. He was being held on a preliminary charge of murder, police said. Prosecutors had not decided whether to seek the death penalty against him.

Brizzi said Turner and Stewart mistakenly believed there were significant amounts of cash in the home. But there was no evidence that the household was anything other than a hardworking family, he said.

The sidewalk in front of the home in a working-class neighborhood had become a shrine to the family with an angel statue, candles, flowers, ribbons and stuffed animals left in tribute to them.

"Today we weep. We weep for the consequences of sin," said Pastor Jay Height, director of Shepherd Community Center where the two youngest brothers had attended programs.

To the family's relatives, Height said "This community rallied behind you, and know we are behind you."

The other victims were identified as the couple's sons, Alberto Covarrubias, 11, and David Covarrubias, 8 or 9; Valdez's children, Flora Albarran, 22, and Magno Albarran, 29; and Flora Albarran's son, Luis, 5.

Funerals for the victims were scheduled on Tuesday and Wednesday.