Houston (CBS HOUSTON) — Prosecutors in the murder of a 15-year-old girl say that the two teen killers charged with the brutal crime did so as part of a satanic ritual, with the one accused killer looking to “sell his soul to the devil.”
Harris County prosecutors said on Tuesday that Corriann Cervantes’ murder was part of a “sadistic” satanic ritual in which the teenager had an upside-down cross carved into her stomach and a religious item placed in a circle around her severely beaten body, KHOU-TV reports.
Two teens have been charged with the vicious murder.
Jose E. Reyes, 17, was charged with capital murder, along with an unnamed 16-year-old, after Reyes confessed to a family member, KTRK-TV reports. Police said Reyes confessed to killing Cervantes with a friend so that his friend “could sell his soul to the devil.”
Reyes was arrested at Clear Path Alternative school in the Clear Creek School ISD on Monday.
“They discussed the fact that Mr. Reyes had sold his soul to the devil, and if they ended up killing this teenager, this would allow the 16-year-old to also sell his soul to the devil,” Assistant Harris County Attorney John Jordan told KTRK.
Authorities located Cervantes’ body in a vacant apartment at the 16400 block of El Camino Real after disappearing days earlier.
Detectives said they found “religious cult items,” and that the injuries included an upside down crucifix that had been carved into her stomach. She was found partially clothed and had been beaten with an ashtray and a toilet lid in a scene described to KTRK by police as that of “occult activity.” There were puncture wounds from a screwdriver on her face, she had been strangled and there were signs of sexual violence.
The name of the 16-year-old suspect in the case will not be released and charges are being handled by juvenile authorities.
Reyes is being charged as an adult, but because his under the age of 18, Texas law makes him ineligible for the death penalty.
“What happened in that vacant apartment was sadistic,” Assistant Harris County Attorney John Jordan said. “What will eventually happen in the 338th district courtroom will be justice.”