PoliceOne Staff Report (CALDWELL COUNTY, Texas) -- A 50-year-old twice-convicted murderer who had served just 10 of the 70-year sentence he received for a 1979 murder has been charged with the slaying of a Gonzales County deputy during a drug raid in neighboring Luling, Caldwell County late Tuesday, authorities said.
Sgt. David M. Furrh, 40, is the first Gonzales County deputy to die in the line of duty since Sheriff Robert M. Glover was killed in 1901.
Furrh was part of a multi-agency task force comprised of officers from neighboring departments who investigate drug offenses.
A 17-year law enforcement officer, Furrh had been with the Gonzales County department for four years. Previously he had worked for the Moulton Police Department and sheriff's departments in Lavaca and Colorado counties, according to Marvin Miles, administrative assistant to Sheriff Glenn Sachtleben. The alleged killer, Miguel Salas Rodriguez owned the trailer home at which the raid was conducted. He was charged with murder and delivery of a controlled substance.
Salas was convicted of homicide without malice in 1973 for which he received a five-year sentence. In April 1979 Salas was convicted of murder and sentenced to 70 years in prison, according to the San Antonio Express-News.
Glen Castlebury, a spokesman for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice spokesman confirmed for the Express-News that Salas' 1979 conviction was in Caldwell County, a crime for which was still on parole.
"He was a good guy and a heck of an officer," Sachtleben said of Furrh. "He was very interested in the community." Furrh is survived by his wife, Tollie; three children; his parents; and siblings, Miles told the newspaper. The funeral procession will begin Saturday at 11 a.m. sharp from the Gonzales County Sheriff's Department, then proceed through Shiner, Texas, to St. Joseph's Catholic Church, 601 NW Second St., Moulton. Church services will begin at 2 p.m. and will be followed by burial with full honors at the Moulton City Cemetery, according to James L. Arledge, manager of the Smith Funeral Home. Officers seeking more information may contact Arledge the Smith Funeral Home, 404 W. Bobkat Drive, Moulton, Texas, 77975.
Memorial funds are being established for Furrh's family at two banks in Gonzales and one in Moulton. Arledge expects to have more information about the memorial funds later in the week.