A Jim Wells County grand jury indicted Roberto Lopez on Friday, May 10 for the capital murder of Alice police officer Matthew "Matt" Murphy.
"The case has been indicted and the next steps are to work with Ranger (Nathan Mutz) and officials in Alabama in the next steps in the extradition process," said JWC District Attorney Carlos Garcia.
The indictment states "Roberto Lopez on or about December 1, 1974... did then and there intentionally and knowingly cause the death of an individual, namely, Matthew Charles Murphy...by shooting him with a firearm, and the complainant was then and there a peace officer who was acting in a lawful discharge of an official duty, to-wit: a uniformed patrol officer for the Alice Police Department."
Back in November 2017, Alice police investigators officially arrested Lopez for the murder closing the cold case of officer Murphy.
According to officials, officer Murphy conducted a traffic stop on West Main Street by State Highway 281. Officer Murphy approached the vehicle and was shot multiple times. Officers responded and medical services were dispatched to the scene. Officer Murphy was transported to the hospital where he later passed away due to his injuries.
Around January 2017, Texas Ranger Nathan Mutz of the Laredo Office Cold Case Division called former Alice police Chief Rex Ramon's office and wanted to review the case report on officer Murphy. The case was reviewed and investigators agreed that there was sufficient evidence to present to the district attorney.
On Nov. 8, 2017, Texas Ranger Mutz, former Alice Police Chief Rex Ramon and, then, Alice Police Department Sgt. Aniceto Perez traveled to Alabama to serve Lopez with the arrest warrant on the capital murder of Officer Murphy.
Lopez had been interviewed several times in regards to the murder of officer Murphy. Until investigators had enough evidence to finally make the arrest.
Lopez is incarcerated at St. Clair Correctional Facility in Springville, Ala. He is serving life for an armed robbery charge. He also has several alias which include Robert Ramos Jr., Roberto Lopez Ramos and Roberto Ramos Ramirez.
An autopsy by the medical examiner recovered four .22 caliber bullets from officer Murphy's body. The bullets hit several major organs, reports state.
Murphy was searching for a vehicle with narcotics that was passing through town when he conducted a traffic stop with a possible yellow vehicle.
According to police officials, chief Compton received a letter from an Alabama prison warden with information about the shooting death of an Alice officer prompting the investigation and opening the case in the early 90s.
Murphy left behind a wife and two children. He was 33 at the time of his death.
A press conference will be held by the Alice Police Department and the District Attorney's Office on Tuesday, May 21, at 10 a.m. at the Alice PD, located at 415 East Main Street.