Temple Teen Sentenced to 45 Years in Prison for Murder
A Temple teenager was sentenced to 45 years in prison Tuesday after being found guilty of fatally shooting another teen at Temple's Jackson Park in 2017.
Our news partners at KWTX report that Edgar Lopez-Benitez, 17, has been ordered by Judge Fancy Jezek of the 426th District Court to serve concurrent prison terms of 45 and 10 years for murder and arson. Online records indicated he remained in Bell County Jail custody Wednesday morning. He was awaiting transfer to Huntsville, where he will serve his sentence.
Lopez-Benitez pleaded guilty to gunning down 15-year-old Andrew Bryan at Jackson Park in Temple on November 8, 2017. Bryan died at the scene, and Lopez-Benitez hid in a home on North 8th Street before surrendering to police.
In February of 2018, Lopez-Benitez was certified to stand trial as an adult. He pleaded guilty in August.
The Temple Daily Telegram's Deborah McKeon reports that Lopez-Benitez was motivated by jealousy over a girl. He confessed to setting fire to a home two days before the shooting, and told police Bryan came to his home to fight him the morning of the murder.
In a written confession, McKeon reports, Lopez-Benitez said he followed Bryan to Jackson Park and pointed a gun at the teen, telling him to run. As Bryan fled, Lopez-Benitez shot at the ground before shooting Bryan in the leg and back. As Bryan lay on the ground, Lopez-Benitez shot him in the chest.