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Funeral for Law Officer Slain on Videotape Draws 300 Colleagues

January 26, 1991

GARRISON, Texas (AP) _ Hundreds of law officers from as far away as Dallas and Houston joined an overflowing crowd at the funeral on Friday of a county constable killed while a video camera recorded his death.

Nacogdoches Constable Darrel Lunsford, 47, died Wednesday after he stopped a car on U.S. Highway 59. His patrol car had been equipped with a video camera to record arrests and field sobriety tests.

It recorded Lunsford walking up to the car and three men beating, kicking and stabbing him to death.

″We’ve come a long way,″ Nacodoches County Sheriff Joe Evans said. ″Probably none of this would have been accomplished without the videotape. We wouldn’t have any leads at this point. We would be waiting for the fingerprints. The videotape allowed us to narrow down the suspects rather quickly.″

Evans said First Baptist Church was ″packed with an overflowing crowd of citizens″ and officers trailed outside for up to a block away. Big-city colleagues from Dallas and Houston were among them, he said.

Two brothers, Baldemar S. Villarreal, 29, and Reynaldo Sambrano Villarreal, 24, both of Edinburg, have been charged with capital murder in the slaying.

An arrest warrant was issued Friday for Jesus ″Jesse″ Cortez Zambrano, 22, also of Edinburg, who remained at large, Evans said.