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Press Release

Two Head to Prison for Committing Murder on Federal Land

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Texas

HOUSTON – Two men have been sentenced to federal prison for 35 years after admitting they murdered a teenager in the Sam Houston National Forest in 2013, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson. Cristian Alexander Zamora aka Christian Zamora, Alexander, Alex or Pollo and Ricardo Leonel Campos Lara aka La Muerte entered pleas of guilty April 17, 2015, to aiding and abetting each other and others with the murder of a 16-year-old male victim on Sept. 22, 2013. 

Today, U.S. District Judge Ewing Werlein handed both Zamora and Lara 420-month sentences, each followed by five years of supervised release. They were further ordered to pay $13,092.42 in restitution. In handing down the sentence, Judge Werlein noted the “willful and deliberate crime.” He commented that the murder was particularly brutal and noted its the heinous, gruesome and savage nature.  

Zamora, 24 and Lara, 20, both of El Salvador and resided in Huntsville and Houston, respectively, admitted they took part in the murder by striking the male victim with a baseball bat and a machete multiple times. Zamora and Lara admitted they had received an order from MS-13 members to kill the teenager. After receiving the order, they assisted in taking him to the forest where they then struck him with a bat and machete to the point of near decapitation.  

They will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

The charges are the result of an investigation by the FBI, Houston Police Department, Texas Rangers and the Walker County Sheriff’s Office. Deputy Chief Mark E. Donnelly and Assistant U.S. Attorney Casey MacDonald are prosecuting the case.

Updated April 29, 2016

Violent Crime