HOUSTON – The second of two teens who went on trial for the satanic ritual killing of a teen girl has been found guilty and has been given an automatic life sentence.
"I feel justice was done for my daughter, that she got her justice served and now she can rest in piece," said victim Corriann Cervantes' father, Cory Cervantes.
Closing arguments wrapped up Thursday evening in Victor Alias' trial. He was charged with capital murder in Cervantes' death.
Prosecutors say said in February 2014, Victor Alias, who was 16, along with then 17-year-old Jose Reyes, lured Corriann, 15, to a vacant Clear Lake apartment, where they raped her and mutilated her body as part of a satanic ritual.
Jurors found Reyes guilty of capital murder in December 2014. He is serving an automatic life sentence.
Neither defendant was eligible for the death penalty because of their age at the time of the crime.
"She was a precious part of our family, loved by many. Her cousins loved her. We miss her every day and always will," Corriann's aunt Roseanne Harding said after the verdict was read Friday morning. "We're happy with the verdict today. Very, very happy. The trials have been hard on our family. The two separate trials have taken a toll emotionally and physically."
According to court documents, the men wanted to kill Cervantes to sell their souls to the devil.
Prosecutors described the crime as heinous and extremely violent.
A judge ruled in August 2014 that Alias would be tried as an adult.
In Reyes' trial, prosecutors said that when Corriann attempted to run away, Reyes began beating her head on the with an ashtray and Alias strangled her with a belt. Corrian was also beaten with a toilet water tank lid. She had puncture wounds from a screwdriver on her face and her eyes were gouged because she bit one of the boys, prosecutors said.
The first witness to discover Corriann's body testified that he did not recognize her even though he knew her. He said that he ran and told his neighbors, who came to investigate.
Alias claimed again this week that he was innocent. It's a claim the jury and prosecutors don't buy.
"It doesn't matter what they say, it's what 12 jurors say. I'm not surprised that someone who could commit such a heinous act would deny it," John Jordan, the Harris County prosecutor who tried both murder cases, said. "This jury spoke for our community that they held both defendants, although they were 17 and 16, accountable for the most horrific acts that cold be imagined on a 15-year-old innocent girl."