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Family loses hope justice will be served after suspect in police chief's murder deemed insane

Family likely to attend yearly evaluations to ensure suspect isn't freed

ELMENDORF, Texas – Family members of the Elmendorf police chief killed in the line of duty four years ago are upset after finding out the man accused of pulling the trigger will most likely not go on trial.

Michael Pimentel’s family fears they're going to have to relive his murder every year for the rest of their lives.

Police said Pimentel pulled Joshua Lopez over on August 23, 2014, then Lopez, who had an outstanding graffiti warrant, allegedly fatally shot Pimentel in the stomach and shoulder.

Recently, Pimentel’s family said a second doctor agreed Lopez was mentally ill when he allegedly gunned the veteran officer down. Lopez would have gone to trial this summer, but it's likely he'll be admitted to a mental institution.

“We're the ones who are going to have to fight year after year to make sure he's not released into society,” said Malinda Lanford, Pimentel’s daughter.

“How do you say that he was insane? How do you know how someone felt? Do you know how you felt four years ago?” questioned Patricia Gonzales, Pimentel’s sister.

Bexar County District Attorney Nico Lahood told Gonzales and Lanford about the doctors findings Tuesday. The family members said they lost all hope that the man who allegedly gunned Pimentel down would get the punishment he truly deserves.

“The death penalty was taken off the table for mental reasons. I still feel that Lopez should spend the rest of his life behind bars,” Lanford said.

“To go up there and sit there and try to fight, where's the justice in that?” Gonzales said.

Pimentel’s death caused a pain his family said will never go away.

“He killed my dad and her brother,” Landford said.


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