A teenager who killed a girl in a Satanic ritual gouged out her eye as she begged for her life, a court has heard.
Jose Reyes from Houston, Texas, is on trial for capital murder over the killing of 15-year-old Corriann Cervantes, allegedly as part of a satanic ritual which involved mutilating her body.
Reyes, 18, and a 16-year-old accomplice, who faces capital murder charges as a minor, are said to have lured Corriann to an empty flat where they raped her before beating her to death.
Reyes faces a life sentence if convicted but would be eligible for parole after 40 years. He is being tried as an adult even though he was 17 when the killing took place. His accomplice is expected to stand trial later.
Prosecutors say the two boys were hoping to make a deal with the devil when they disfigured the girl’s body, including gouging one eye and carving an upside down crucifix on her stomach.
Reyes reportedly confessed to the horrific crime and said he had killed Corriann so that his younger friend could ‘sell his soul to the devil,’ according to KTRK-TV.
‘Whether or not the devil was involved, what happened in that apartment was sadistic and inhumane,’ Assistant Harris County District Attorney John Jordan told jurors. ‘He said he had no regrets.’
Mr Jordan told the court Corriann and her alleged killers went to the apartment south east of Houston to have sex after a late night of alcohol and cannabis use at a friend’s home. All three were pupils at the same school.
While the sex was initially consensual, the encounter descended into a brutal beating with the heavy porcelain lid of a toilet tank.
‘There were pieces of porcelain embedded in her face,’ Mr Jordan said.
‘What happened in that vacant apartment was sadistic. What will eventually happen in the… courtroom will be justice,’ said Mr Jordan.
In court on February, Reyes looked directly into the camera and smiled. A judge ordered him held without bail.
Corriann was found in the empty flat three days after she was kidnapped. One of the neighbors who found her body said there were religious items placed around her body.
A police report says she was found half naked with her clothes torn. Her body showed signs that she had been violently raped.
Authorities had previously said that after the boys lured Corriann to the flat on February 5, they hit her with an ashtray, a toilet tank lid and a window blind rod, and strangled her.
Reyes confessed that the pair sexually assaulted Corriann. When she tried to leave the vacant apartment, they grabbed her by the arms and pulled her back in again, according to police.
Mr Jordan said Reyes’ family went to authorities after the teenager made ‘some admissions’ to them about what had happened.
‘They did the right thing. Clearly they were offended by his conduct,’ he said.
At Reyes’ home, ‘there were some signs of devil worship and things of that nature,’ Mr Jordan said.
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