Dallas Man Pleads Guilty to Second 1978 Killing

Benny Tijerina, now 53, pleaded guilty to a murder more than 30 years ago

Wednesday, Feb 29, 2012  |  Updated 4:29 PM CDT
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Dallas Man Pleads Guilty to Second 1978 Killing

Williamson County Sheriff

Benny Tijerina Jr. pleaded guilty to shooting a teenage couple to death after they went on a movie date in 1978.

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A Dallas man sentenced to 40 years in prison for the 1978 slaying of a Central Texas woman has received the same penalty for killing her date.

A judge in Georgetown on Tuesday sentenced 53-year-old Benny Tijerina. Tijerina pleaded guilty to murder in the death of 19-year-old Kevin Key.

Tijerina last week was in court in Waco and pleaded guilty to murder in the death of 18-year-old Rita Salazar. Both teens were shot. Investigators say Salazar was also sexually assaulted.

The couple disappeared after seeing a movie in Austin and running out of gas. Their bodies were found in different counties.

Tijerina was arrested in 2007 for drunken driving and provided a DNA sample, which eventually was matched to the Salazar attack.

Tijerina's 40-year prison terms will run concurrently.

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