Man sentenced to 25 years for 2016 baseball bat murder - Brownsville Herald: Local News

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Man sentenced to 25 years for 2016 baseball bat murder

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Posted: Friday, May 18, 2018 2:58 pm

A man convicted of beating another man to death with a baseball bat in 2016 was sentenced to 25 years in prison Friday afternoon.

A Cameron County jury convicted Jesus Ruben Vela Jr., 27, of murder Thursday, for killing 25-year-old Victor Manuel Campos Loo in 2016.

Court testimony and records revealed that Vela believed Loo belonged to the Gulf Cartel and was threatening him with torture and murder if did not agree to cross drugs for the cartel.

“I just would like to let the jury know that I did what I had to do because I really believed they were in danger,” Vela said of his family while testifying Friday.

Loo and Vela had known each other for approximately two months.

Authorities took Vela into custody immediately and he will receive credit for time he has already served in jail.

The Cameron County Sheriff’s Department detained Vela on Aug. 16, 2016, after a 24-hour search for the man, whose vehicle was found abandoned and splattered with blood near the 26700 block of Rice Tract Road near FM 1577, a heavily wooded neighborhood.

The investigation revealed that Vela had tried to commit suicide by slashing his wrists and neck with a machete. While at the hospital being treated for those injuries, Vela told investigators that he killed a man and buried him in the backyard of his parent’s house near Olmito.

The trial began Monday.

mreagan@brownsvilleherald.com

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