Man sentenced for killing high school classmate

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Hermilo Vildo Moralez

PEARLAND, Texas - A man has been sentenced to life in prison for killing a high school classmate in Pearland.

Hermilo Moralez, 21, was found guilty of murder on Tuesday. He had confessed to the killing.

Joshua Wilkerson, 18, was found dead in a field along FM 518 near FM 521 in November 2010.

"He was located in a heavily overgrown field with medium- to large-sized trees and waist-high and higher brush," Lt. Onesimo Lopez said. "It was not a location that was easily found."

Moralez, who was 19 at the time, led officers to Wilkerson's body, police said.

Investigators said Moralez told them that he beat Wilkerson unconscious with a piece of wood at his father's home. When Wilkerson's body was found, his hands and feet were tied and he was partially burned, police said.

Moralez knew Wilkerson for about five years and Wilkerson often gave him a ride home from school, officials said. They were classmates at the Pearland Independent School District's PACE Center.

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