BROWNWOOD – Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton helped secure three consecutive life sentences against Pablo Figueroa, age 62, for a murder Figueroa committed over 40 years ago. The Office of the Attorney General’s Criminal Prosecutions Division, represented by Assistant Attorneys General Natalie Tise and Matthew Ottoway, assisted District Attorney Micheal Murray of the 35th Judicial District and First Assistant Elisha Bird in this capital murder prosecution.

In April 1981, Donna Mae Inlow, age 72, was working in her family’s shoe store in downtown Brownwood, Texas. Just before closing, Inlow was attacked and dragged into the back storeroom. There, her skull was fractured, and she was strangled with a mop handle, sexually assaulted, and stabbed multiple times. Her killer then cleared out the cash register and left her there to die. The next morning, a neighboring shop owner, concerned because Inlow’s shoe store had not opened for business, discovered her mutilated body and called authorities.

Although suspects were developed over the years, the case ultimately went cold. In 2001, samples from Inlow’s pantyhose were submitted for DNA testing. A profile was developed and eventually submitted to Combined DNA Index System (“CODIS”). In 2019, Texas law enforcement were notified of a hit matching Figueroa, whose profile was uploaded to CODIS after being federally convicted of conspiracy to smuggle illegal aliens. Additional testing confirmed the hit, and after further investigation, Figueroa was indicted in December 2022 for the capital murder of Inlow.  

Upon completion of his federal sentence, Figueroa was transferred to Brown County in September 2023 to await trial. After approximately a year of litigation, Figueroa’s counsel approached prosecutors seeking a deal. Negotiations led to a plea bargain resulting in guilty pleas for capital murder, aggravated robbery, and aggravated rape, each coupled with a life sentence to run consecutive to each other, waiving presentencing time credits, and waiving future challenges to the convictions. Earlier this month, and forty-two years after Inlow’s murder, Judge Mike Smith of the 35th District Court of Brown County, Texas, accepted the plea bargain and Figueroa’s guilty pleas and imposed three life sentences to run consecutive to each other.

The Office of the Attorney General assisted local prosecutors upon request, including an additional investigation conducted by Sergeants Joe Baca and David Fugitt of the Criminal Investigations Division.