1 charged with murder in deadly gas theft attempt

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EDINBURG, Texas - A South Texas judge has charged an illegal Mexican immigrant with tampering with natural gas condensate tanks and murder for a botched theft that left him and a partner burned and a third cohort dead.

Hidalgo County Justice of the Peace Bobby Contreras set bond for 31-year-old Vidal Ochoa at $1.25 million. Ochoa appeared Tuesday with the right side of his face and right arm burned and blistered. He requested an attorney.

Sheriff Lupe Trevino says Ochoa admitted to three similar thefts and was previously deported to Mexico.

On Friday, Ochoa, Reymundo Sanchez and Mario Alberto Dominguez were scouting a well site near McCook when they caused an explosion. Trevino says Dominguez died and Sanchez fled across the border to Reynosa, Mexico, where he was being treated for burns.

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