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Laredo, Texas

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Monday, January 22, 2018

Efrain Leonel Hernandez Sentenced to 45 years for Murder

Courtesy Yanira Deleon,

 The District Attorney’s Office reports that Efrain Leonel Hernandez was found guilty of murder and sentenced to 45 years for brutally beating Hector Benavides Sr. outside of the Rumor’s Country Bar parking lot.

On November 15, 2015, shortly after midnight, the Laredo Police Department Communication Division received a call about an assault that had just occurred at the 9000 block of McPherson Rd in the Cantera Court Complex. Officers arrived at the scene and discovered an unconscious male subject lying on the floor and bleeding from his face. The investigation revealed that Hector Benavides Sr. was attacked and severely beaten by three men who were later identified as Efrain Leonel Hernandez, Justin Jerman Hernandez and Felipe Arizpe-Rosales. It is believed that the attack ensued due to a previous argument that had occurred between one of the attackers, Justin Hernandez, and Benavides over parking fees. Benavides’ son subsequently got into a physical altercation with Justin before he drove off. Later that evening, Justin returned with two males to confront Benavides’ son, but severely beat him instead. Due to his injuries, Benavides was taken to a local hospital in critical condition before being airlifted to a hospital in San Antonio, Texas. He died two days later as a result of the injuries.

Efrain Leonel Hernandez, Justin Jerman Hernandez, the defendant’s brother and Felipe Arispe-Rosales were arrested a few weeks later and charged with murder, a first-degree felony in the State of Texas.

The trial, which took place before the 406th District Court Judge Oscar Hale Jr., was heard by a jury over the course of three days, rendering their guilty verdict after three hours of deliberation. Numerous witnesses took the stand during trial including the LPD lead investigator, expert witnesses who assisted with the case and bystanders who witnessed the attack. After finding the defendant guilty or murder, the jury sentenced him to 45 years.

The two co-defendants are awaiting trial.

Chief Assistant District Attorney Marisela S. Jacaman, Assistant District Attorneys Anali Vargas, Joshua Davila, Francisco Rodriguez and Eduardo Ramirez prosecuted the case for the State.

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