Three arrested, accused of killing middle school student with machete

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- A 14-year-old is among the group of three suspects arrested in connection with the murder of a Stovall Middle School student last month.

Fourteen-year-old Jose Meraz's mutilated body was found in a heavily wooded area west of Addicks Dam Road on September 15. Court documents show the teen was brutally stabbed with a machete.

"He's in heaven, that's the thing," said Meraz's cousin Derrick Reyes. "One day I'm going to see him."

His family says the teen was killed because he refused to join the MS-13 gang. Police describe the case as gang-related.

"Jose Meraz was a member of this organization for a short amount of time and he did not want to be a member in the future he wanted out and that was one of the motivating factors that led to his death," said Sgt. C Sturdivant with HPD Homicide.

Houston police homicide detectives have arrested Jose Granados-Guevara, 22, and William Alexander Valladares, 17. They are both charged with murder.

A third suspect, a 14-year-old male is being referred to Harris County Juvenile Probation Department authorities on a murder charge.

Police say more arrests are possible.
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