2 charged with murder after recent Manor ISD graduate dies


Editor’s Note: The video included in this story is from earlier coverage of the case on November 29.

SAN MARCOS, Texas (KXAN) – A teenage boy and a man were arrested this week in connection with the murder of a recent high school graduate from the Manor Independent School District.

Lavonte Benford was pronounced dead at the scene after officers found him at an apartment complex off Craddock Avenue in San Marcos just before 2:30 p.m. on November 28. Department said previously.

Lukas Javier Perez, 17, of San Antonio, and Michael Brandon Torres, 25, of Weslaco, were held at Hays County Jail in connection with the homicide on Tuesday and Saturday, respectively, SMPD said.

Perez faces murder and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon charges, while Torres faces murder only. The two are still in jail on bail of $ 550,000 and $ 500,000, respectively, police said.

Investigators believe the homicide was drug-related. The investigation is still open, police said.

Manor ISD previously said Benford graduated in the spring of 2021 and was also known as “Red”. School officials and coaches who interacted with Benford said he was remembered for his athletic ability and compassion.

Manor High School head football coach and athletic director James Keller said Benford was living in San Marcos with his brother with the aim of becoming a welder.

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