Jury to decide sentencing in Escamilla murder case

Family and friends of Efren Escamilla wore buttons to remember him

A Hidalgo County jury will soon sentence a man convicted of murder.

Jurors found Roel Lopez guilty of murder on Monday.

Lopez shot and killed 37-year-old Efren Escamilla back in December 2011.

On Tuesday, Escamilla TMs family told jurors the impact Lopez TMs actions has had on their lives.

He was like a big brother, almost like a second father for us, Efren TMs younger sister Monica Escamilla said.

Escamilla TMs mother told jurors they were close.

His father said Escamilla was more like a friend and confidant and that he always took care of his family.

The oldest and only son of six children, Escamilla often took care of his younger siblings.

We lost the only brother we had, so it TMs a lot of mixed emotions, Monica Escamilla said.

Lopez was originally charged with capital murder, which meant he would have been eligible for the death penalty.

Instead, jurors found him guilty of murder.

Lopez now faces anywhere from five years to life in prison and a fine.

Never have I lost someone due to a selfish act by another individual, family friend James Basetti said.

Throughout the week, the prosecution put together a case placing Lopez at the scene of the crime and sustaining injuries from a struggle that occurred during a robbery that ended Efren TMs life.

Now, after two years of waiting, the Escamilla family says they will finally get some closure once Lopez is put in prison.

He was a bad guy, he had a bad criminal record which lead him to do this, Monica Escamilla said. I know that now he feels it, he TMs not going to get away with it.

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