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Not guilty plea entered in Weslaco-area homicide

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A man entered a plea of not guilty in connection with a July murder near Weslaco, court records show.

Jose Alfonso Lopez was arrested on July 29, the day Weslaco firefighters discovered a man's body while responding to a grass fire.

Hidalgo County Sheriff Eddie Guerra said in a July news release that the fire captain found the partially burned body at about 4:20 a.m. after the Weslaco Fire Department responded to the grass fire east of Mile 4 West on Mile 13 1/2 North in rural Weslaco.

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Court records show Lopez pled not guilty last week to the murder charge against him. A pre-trial hearing was set for next month.

The victim - identified as 21-year-old Edel Galvan - was stabbed near the heart before his body was dumped and then set on fire, Guerra said.

"A possible motive was that our victim disrespected our suspect, they are members of the same criminal street gang," Guerra said. "We were able to solve this case and have an individual in custody because of a witness."

Records show Lopez remains in custody on a bond of over $1 million.

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