Mexico Ruling Frees Texas Murder Suspect - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

9/5/03 - Lufkin

Mexico Ruling Frees Texas Murder Suspect

U.S. authorities are not giving up after a man arrested in Mexico and accused in the 1979 slaying of an Angelina County deputy was set free.

Lufkin Police say a judge in Mexico ruled yesterday that the statute of limitations has expired. An appeal is in motion.

Last week, Texas law officers announced the arrest of 46-year-old Alvaro Rodarte outside Zacatecas, Mexico. He was wanted in Texas in connection with the May 13th, 1979, killing of Deputy Don Willmon in Lufkin.

The lawman was working undercover when he stopped Rodarte to question him about a burglary. Willmon was stabbed during a struggle. Police believe Rodarte then fled to Mexico.

U.S. officials say Mexico has different judicial standards than the U.S. and since the prosecution was to have been in Mexico, it was subject to Mexican laws.

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