San Benito man sentenced to 25 years for 2016 murder

(Photo courtesy of the Cameron County Sheriff's Office)

Following a one-week trial, a jury on Friday found a San Benito man guilty of a 2016 murder and sentenced him to 25 years in a Texas detention center.

The jury only briefly deliberated when determining the verdict and sentencing for 26-year-old Jesus Vela Jr. of San Benito, who was found guilty of brutally murdering Victor Manuel Campos Loo with a baseball bat in August 2016, according to the Cameron County District Attorney’s Office.

Prosecutors say Vela admitted to hitting Loo in the head 10 to 12 times with a baseball bat over a drug trafficking disagreement. He then buried Loo’s body beneath a pile of palm tree branches in a drainage ditch in Olmito. Investigators later found the body wrapped in plastic.

“Jesus Vela, Jr. killed a man, a father and a husband, in cold blood over a load of drugs, and buried his body with no regard for the life he once had. For this crime, he has been sentenced to 25 years in prison, and while it won’t bring back the victim to his family, it will bring a form of justice to them,” said Cameron County District Attorney Luis V. Saenz.

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