A ghastly, demonic twist was added to one of the most grisly murder cases the Houston area has witnessed in recent memory.
Harris County prosecutors said earlier this week that the 2014 murder of Corriann Cervantes was being investigated as a satanic ritual killing after an upside cross was found carved on her abdomen. Other Satanic symbols were discovered scrawled on the wall of the vacant apartment where she was killed, they said.
The new details were released as part of the ongoing capital murder trial of Victor Alas, who allegedly helped stab, beat and strangle Cervantes because he was afraid she would testify against him in his pending criminal cases.
"All he could think of was, 'She's going to snitch, she's going to tell,'" Assistant Harris County District Attorney Britni Cooper told jurors in opening statements of Alas' trial, the Houston Chronicle reported. "He told detectives he pulled for three to five minutes, until she turned blue. She was gasping for air."
Alas and another teen, Jose E. Reyes, were arrested in the sexual assault and death of Cervantes. Reyes was convicted last year of capital murder and was automatically sentenced to life in prison.
During Reyes' trial, the prosecution read letters to the court that Reyes wrote while imprisoned in which he said the Devil was watching him and directing him to act during the brutal murder.
"He was standing there, watching me and Victor," the teen wrote in a letter read to jurors in that case. "It's all good. It's what the Devil asked for."
The murder occurred after the three teens left a party allegedly to have consensual sex in the abandoned apartment complex. Cervantes' blood alcohol level was twice the legal limit for an adult and the teens at the party were known to be drinking, smoking marijuana and taking the prescription drug Xanax.
At the apartment, Cervantes was then strangled with the belt, bludgeoned on the head and face with the porcelain lid from a toilet tank and stabbed with a small screwdriver. Her eyes were gouged out with the plastic rods from window blinds.
"Her eyes had been gouged out, while she was still alive," Cooper said. "She was raped. She had an upside down cross carved into her stomach."
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