Two teenagers are in custody after authorities say they murdered a 15-year-old girl in Clear Lake.
Prosecutors confirmed Tuesday that 15-year-old Corriann Cervantes’ murder was part of a satanic ritual.
One of the teens, 17-year-old Jose Reyes, appeared before a judge Tuesday with a court appointed lawyer to hear the capital murder charge against him.
Authorities say Reyes and a 16-year-old accomplice allegedly lured Cervantes to a vacant apartment near her home last Wednesday where they allegedly sexually assaulted her and beat her to death.
At some point, prosecutors say they carved an inverted cross on her stomach. Reyes allegedly admitted it was part of a satanic ceremony.
“What Mr. Reyes says is he had sold his soul to the devil,” said John Jordan, assistant Harris County district attorney. “The juvenile inquired, cause he knew that he had, that if he committed a murder, would that initiate him into being able to sell his soul to the devil. Mr. Reyes said yes, and it was after that conversation that the brutal murder occurred.”
Authorities say Cervantes was beaten with an ashtray and a toilet lid. She had puncture wounds from a screwdriver on her face and she was apparently strangled.
Her body was found in the abandoned apartment early Saturday morning by a passerby.
The medical examiner still has not ruled on the exact cause of her death.
The 16-year-old charged in this case is being handled by juvenile authorities, so his name is not being released.
Because of their ages, neither teen is eligible for the death penalty.
Reyes is charged as an adult, but because he is under 18, Texas law makes him ineligible for death by injection. If convicted, he could receive a maximum penalty of life in prison.
If tried as a juvenile and found guilty, the 16-year-old could get up to 40 years behind bars. Prosecutors have not yet said if they will try to have him certified as an adult.