Temple: Teen gets hefty prison sentence for arson, murder

Edgar Lopez-Benitez. (Jail photo)
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TEMPLE, Texas (KWTX) A Temple teenager who pleaded guilty to killing another teen in 2017 and to setting an arson fire was sentenced Tuesday to state prison for terms of 45 and 10 years.

Judge Fancy Jezek, in 426th District Court, sentenced Edgar Lopez-Benitez, 17, to serve 45 years in prison on the murder charge and 10 years for the arson, those sentences to be served concurrently, and she waived any fine.

Lopez-Benitez was remanded to the sheriff’s custody to await transfer to Huntsville’s prison intake facility, after which he’ll be assigned to a permanent unit.

Lopez-Benitez pleaded guilty to shooting Andrew Bryan, 15, at around 9:40 a.m. on Nov. 8, 2017 in Jackson Park at 925 North 4th St. in Temple, according to court documents.

Bryan died at the scene.

Police reports show Lopez-Benitez ran from the area after the shooting and hid in a home in the 900 block of North 8th Street.

Soon after, officers established a perimeter around the shooting scene and requested the department's SWAT team.

Lopez-Benitez surrendered just after 11 a.m., was taken to the Temple Police Department's juvenile processing office and later was transferred to the Bell County Jail where he has remained, held under a $250,000 bond.

Lopez-Benitez, who was certified in February to stand trial as an adult, pleaded guilty to murder and arson on Aug. 21.

The guilty pleas were not the result of a plea agreement with prosecutors, officials said.