Jose Varela sentenced for killing Zuhyr Hamza Kaleem

Jose Varela, left, was sentenced in the killing of Zuhyr Hamza Kaleem, right. (Photos from Harris County District Attorney’s Office)

A 24-year-old Texas man was sentenced to 45 years in prison for his role in the murder of a former high school classmate whose burned remains were found in a shallow grave a year later in a case stemming from “some marijuana and a couple hundred bucks.”

Jose Varela was sentenced to 45 years in prison after pleading guilty to murder for killing 22-year-old Zuhyr Hamza Kaleem on April 27, 2019.

“This was a premeditated murder that left a family questioning what happened to their loved one for more than a year,” Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said in a statement. “With help from the victim’s family and great police work, we were able to get justice in this horrible case.”

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