• Tank Loera and his mother Jessica McKinney
    Tank Loera and his mother Jessica McKinney in an undated photo

Three sentenced to life for murder of Benjamin "Tank" Loera

By Jessica Coleman

Contributing Writer

Casey Wayne Jenschke, Kyler Ray Rector, and Yolanda Rodriguez Salinas all pleaded guilty to Murder and Aggravated Kidnapping with a Deadly Weapon for their roles in the October 2021 kidnapping and murder of 16-year-old Benjamin “Tank” Loera. In exchange for two concurrent life sentences apiece, to be served in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Salinas, Jenschke and Rector agreed to testify in any trials related to the murder.

In front of Judge Eli Garza, all three admitted to killing Loera with a firearm after abducting him by restricting his movement and threatening him with deadly weapons – namely a firearm and a knife.

In her tearful impact statement, Loera’s mother Jessica McKinney described him as “unafraid to look a bully in the eye,” and “the king of pranks and cheesy jokes.” 

Rector, Jenschke, and an unnamed minor were all arrested in connection with Loera’s murder in late 2021. Salinas was arrested in early 2022.

Loera was reported missing by his mother in October of 2021, and his remains were found nearly two months later, on December 20, in Seguin - over 100 miles from his home in Vanderbilt.

All three will eventually be eligible for parole.

Rector also pleaded guilty to three counts of Sexual Assault of a Child, and three counts of Possession of Child Pornography, and was sentenced to a total of 90 years in prison in a separate case. 

More information will be available in the February 7 edition of the Jackson County Herald-Tribune.

Jackson County Herald Tribune

306 N. Wells
Edna, TX 77957