The District Attorney’s Office said Lopez "slammed" Mata to the ground and knocked him unconscious. The suspects reportedly shot Mata and then carried their friend to the back of a wooded area behind a church and stabbed him several times.
On April 5, 2021, Paz and Lopez were detained after "acting suspiciously," according to the District Attorney’s Office. Paz reportedly led police to Mata’s body and recounted what had happened.
On Monday, Nov. 28, the District Attorney’s Office said Lopez pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 25 years in prison by state District Judge Te’iva Bell. A couple days later, on Wednesday, Nov. 30, Paz followed suit in the guilty plea and was also sentenced to 25 years.
In a statement, Assistant Harris County District Attorney Catherine Johnson, a chief prosecutor who handled the cases, said, "Leroy Lopez and Christopher Paz were both convicted and sentenced to 25 years in prison this week for the gruesome murder of Abraham Mata."
Johnson continued, "Our community is much safer with these two individuals in prison, and we are grateful to the Harris County Sheriff’s Office for apprehending them quickly following the murder."