PEARLAND, Texas - The family of a slain teenager spoke out Thursday and said they don't believe what the accused killer told police.
John Crochet said he's having a hard time trying to understanding how Hermilo Moralez, the man accused of killing his nephew, could be captured smiling in his mugshot after his arrest.
"This is an animal," said Crochet.
Pearland police said Moralez killed his classmate, Joshua Wilkerson, 18, on Tuesday.
"Josh is gone, and there's no one here to stand up for Josh; someone to say what happened," said Crochet.
Crochet said he's flabbergasted by the conflicting stories Moralez allegedly gave authorities about what led up to the killing.
"There is this guy talking about Josh, saying these things that aren't true," Crochet said.
According to court documents, Wilkerson gave Moralez a ride home from school Tuesday, the day he disappeared.
Moralez originally told police he beat Willkerson with a wooden rod because Wilkerson tried to make a sexual pass at him.
"He's trying to cover up something he did," said Crochet.
But after being questioned again, police said, Moralez confessed to killing Wilkerson on the back patio of his father?s Pearland home.
Wilkerson's body was discovered in an overgrown field on Wednesday.
Police said Wilkerson had been tied up and then set on fire.
"The bottom line is that, whatever happened, Josh didn't deserve to die," Crochet said.
With a suspect behind bars, Wilkerson's relatives said said they're turning their focus to their loved one and the legacy he leaves behind.
"We want Josh to be remembered as the beautiful kid that he was," said Crochet.
Moralez has been charged with murder and is being held without bail.
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