Texas teens get 25 years each for killing friend during 2021 fight

The three men were all 17 at the time when the victim was slammed to the ground and before being shot, prosecutors said

Two Houston-area men were handed down 25-year prison sentences for the killing of a friend after they all got into a fight, authorities said Tuesday. 

Leroy Lopez and Christopher Paz, both 19, were sentenced last week after admitting to the fatal April 4, 2021 shooting of 17-year-old Abraham Mata near Houston. All three were 17 at the time. 

"This was a brutal and senseless murder carried out by two young men who will now spend decades behind bars," Harris County District attorney Kim Ogg said. "There are consequences for every action and in this case, justice was served."

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Christopher Paz and Leroy Lopez, both 19, both killed their friend, Abraham Mata, in 2021 during a fight, prosecutors said. 

Christopher Paz and Leroy Lopez, both 19, both killed their friend, Abraham Mata, in 2021 during a fight, prosecutors said.  (Harris County District Attorney's Office)

The three teens were at a trailer home in the 400 block of East Wallisville Road when a fight broke out, authorities said. They were all "highly intoxicated" at the time, Ogg's office said. 

At one point, Lopez picked up Mata and slammed him to the ground, knocking him unconscious. Mata was then dragged out of the trailer and shot twice, prosecutors said. 

Lopez and Paz then dragged Mata's body to a wooded area behind a church where he was then stabbed several times, authorities said.

Both men were detained the next day by police. Paz led investigators to Mata's body and told them what happened. 

Abraham Mata, 17, was killed by two friends during an April 2021 fight in which he was shot and then stabbed, Texas prosecutors said.

Abraham Mata, 17, was killed by two friends during an April 2021 fight in which he was shot and then stabbed, Texas prosecutors said. (Harris County District Attorney's Office)

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Lopez pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 25 years in prison on Nov. 28. Paz pleaded guilty in exchange for 25 years in prison two days later.