When the Legaspi Company, a California real estate firm founded by Mexican-American businessman José de Jesús Legaspi, bought what is now La Gran Plaza, a Fort Worth, Texas, shopping emporium-cum-Latino community center, only 20 percent of its 1,200,000 square feet of retail space were full.
A teenager who killed a classmate as an offering to Satan will spend the rest of his life in prison.
A Harris County jury convicted 18-year-old José Reyes of capital murder. The jury reached the verdict after deliberating for one hour. Reyes and another teen, Victor Alas, were arrested in February shortly after the body of 15-year-old Corianne Cervantes was discovered in an empty apartment building.
Prosecutors filed capital murder charges because they said Reyes and the second suspect in custody sexually assaulted Cervantes and multilated her body in addition to killing her.
"José is spiritually dead if he says he wants to sell his soul to the devil as he has stated," Michelle Abermethy, Corianne's aunt, told reporters after the verdict was announced. "I don't believe he is spiritually alive. He is dead, and he is going to spend the rest of his life in prison where he belongs."
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Reyes did not show any visible signs of emotion after the verdict was read. He declined a judge's invitation to address the courtroom.
"He had no emotion, no feelings, no compassion whatsoever," said Cory Cervantes, the victim's father. "My daughter no longer has a voice. We are fighting for her. It's all about Corianne, and right now I just want justice for her. I loved her very much."
Cervantes said he and his family will attend Alas' trial, which is scheduled to begin in January.
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