Suspect in officer's death charged with murder

Dante Moore did not arrive to his first scheduled court appearance because of an unspecified medical issue, but prosecutors plowed ahead anyway and provided details of the chase that led to the motorcycle crash that killed a Bellaire Police Department officer.

“Witnesses say the defendant traveled at a high rate of speed," said the prosecutor. "They also noticed him traveling in the center lanes. They also noticed him running stop signs."

Moore has apparently confessed to being the driver on that fateful day, according to court documents. Prosecutors have charged Moore with murder. Why? After all he was simply fleeing from police. He didn't try to kill motorcycle Officer Marco Zarate.

FOX 26 News senior legal analyst Chris Tritico explains it is because they had already committed another crime.

“That officer was in hot pursuit, fleeing from that felony," said Tritico. "Because of that, when he dies during the chase, it becomes a murder. It's transferred intent if you will.”

Moore surrendered to Bellaire police on Tuesday. Police say on Tuesday afternoon, a loss prevention specialist at Target in Meyerland Plaza flagged down Officer Zarate. The officer had stopped a vehicle matching the one belonging to alleged shoplifters and was waiting for backup.

Police say it was Moore and his twin brother. While Ofc. Zarate was waiting, Dante Moore suddenly took off and led him on a chase. 

Ofc. Zarate crashed the motorcycle into the back of a lawn care equipment trailer and later died at Memorial Hermann Hospital - Texas Medical Center. Dante's twin brother was in the car. He remains a person of interest but is not in custody.

Tritico said the twin could face the same charge of murder.

“Texas we have the law of parties," explained Tritico. "In for a penny, in for a pound. It doesn't matter what your level of participation is, if you participated in the crime, if you participated on any level you are responsible for the entire crime.”

Dante Moore has a lengthy criminal record that includes running from police.

Visitation and funeral arrangements for Officer Zarate have been scheduled.

The visitation will take place on Sunday, July 17 from 12 p.m. until 8 p.m. at Memorial Oaks Funeral Home on 13001 Katy Freeway, Houston, TX 77079. A vigil time will be announced.

The funeral will take place on Monday, July 18, at 2 p.m. in the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart on             1111 St. Joseph Parkway, Houston, TX 77002.