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Thursday, April 4, 2024

The Corriann Cervantes Murder Case

     Jose Reyes and Corriann Cervantes, 17 and 15 respectively, attended the Clear Path alternative school in Clear Lake, Texas, a Greater Houston community in southeast Harris County. (Kids enrolled in the school had learning disabilities, low I.Q.s and/or personality disorders.)

     A passerby at four in the morning on Saturday February 8, 2014 noticed an open door at the El Camino Real apartment complex in Clear Lake. When the man entered the abandoned apartment he saw a half-nude woman with her head bashed in. The victim turned out to be Corriann Cervantes.

     At the murder scene detectives determined that Cervantes had been bludgeoned to death with a toilet tank lid and an ashtray. According to a Harris County forensic pathologist the victim had been raped before her assailant or assailants murdered her. On her abdomen someone had carved an upside-down cross. The killer or killers had placed various religious trinkets around her bloody corpse.

     The day following the gruesome discovery, police received a call from one of Jose Reyes' relatives who reported that the teenager admitted that he and a 16-year-old classmate named Victor Alas had raped and murdered the girl in the abandoned apartment.

     At the police station Jose Reyes told detectives that he and Victor Atlas had taken Corriann Cervantes to the vacant apartment where they raped her. When she tried to leave they beat her to death with the toilet tank lid and ashtray, then carved the cross into her body. They placed the religious items around her body. Reyes told his interrogators he sold his soul to the devil. He and his friend had raped, murdered and mutilated the girl so they could sell their soul to the devil.

     Police officers booked Reyes into the Harris County Jail on the charge of capital murder. Because of his age he was not eligible for the death penalty. However, if convicted as an adult he could be sentenced up to life in prison without parole.

     On Monday, February 10, 2014 police officers took 16-year-old Victor Alas into custody. Charged with capital murder as well, the prosecutor referred Alas to the Harris County Juvenile Probation Authority. If convicted as a juvenile offender the teen faced a maximum prison sentence of 40 years.

    At his first court appearance Jose Reyes was all smiles. He obviously enjoyed the media attention--a nobody who was suddenly a somebody. The judge set his bail at $1 million.

     The Jose Reyes murder trial began on Monday December 8, 2014 in the Harris County Courthouse before District Judge Brook Thomas. In his opening remarks to the jury prosecutor John Jordan said the defendant, his accomplice Victor Alas and Corriann Cervantes went to the vacant apartment that night after consuming alcohol and smoking marijuana at a friend's house. While the sex was initially consensual the encounter degenerated into a brutal beating, repeated stabbings, torture, disfigurement and murder.

     Reyes and Alas, according to prosecutor Jordan, gouged out Cervantes' eyes as she begged for her life. The forensic pathologist who performed the autopsy found pieces of porcelain embedded in her face. "What happened in that apartment," Jordan said, "was sadistic."

     Defense attorney Jerald Graber, in his address to the jurors, argued that his client should have been charged with a lesser form of criminal homicide than capital murder. Mr. Graber said the state could not prove that the defendant had committed an intentional homicide in the commission of an underlying felony such as kidnapping or sexual assault, the legal requirements of a capital murder conviction. (This was an absurd argument. The second Reyes and his friend kept Cervantes from leaving the apartment they committed the crime of kidnapping. Moreover, the consensual sex had quickly turned to rape.)

     On December 9, 2014, the second day of the trial, prosecutor Jordan put 19-year-old Miranda Leal on the stand. Leal was one of two people the defendant had bragged to about the Cervantes murder. According to this witness Jose Reyes told her he stabbed the victim while having sex with her. He said the Devil ordered him to do what he had done to the girl. While providing her details of the horrific crime Reyes laughed and smiled as he talked about it.

     According to Miranda Leal, Reyes, in bragging about the murder, performed a freestyle rap about a threesome with a girl that led to torture and murder. To prove that he wasn't making any of this up, Reyes showed Leal a cellphone photograph of himself, his friend Victor and a girl having sex.

     Miranda Leal testified that the defendant revealed to her how he had choked, bludgeoned then stabbed the victim in the face and torso with a screwdriver. When Cervantes tried to escape the attack he "clotheslined" her then hit her in the head with the porcelain toilet tank lid, breaking it in half. The witness said the defendant's story was so bizarre and sick she didn't believe it until she learned that Cervantes' body had been found in the vacant apartment.

      Miranda Leal was followed to the stand by Agapita Gonzales, the second person Reyes had confided in. According to this witness, "he said somebody wanted his soul." Gonzales revealed that the defendant's account of his activities that night caused her to fear for her own life. At times during her testimony she broke into tears.

     On the third day of the Reyes murder trial prosecutor Jordan introduced letters the defendant had written from the Harris County Jail in which he claimed the Devil watched him that night and directed his activities. Reyes had written, "He [the Devil] was standing there, watching me and Victor. It's all good. It's what the Devil asked for."

     After the prosecution rested its case defense attorney Graber did not put his client on the stand. In his closing remarks to the jury the defense lawyer assured the jurors that finding the defendant guilty of a lesser homicide offense would not mean that Corriann Cervantes was denied justice.

     On December 11, 2014 the jury, after deliberating just one hour, found the defendant guilty of capital murder, a crime that carried a mandatory life sentence without parole.

     Victor Alas went on trial as an adult in May 2015. On June 18, 2015 the Harris County jury found the defendant guilty of capital murder. Like Jose Reyes Victor Alas would spend the rest of his life behind bars. 


  1. 15 years old isn't a woman. That's a child.

  2. This is so incredibly shocking and tragic. It's just hard to even put into words how bad I feel for what Corriann endured. God bless that precious girl, and God rest her soul.

  3. Thank God that these boys were brought to justice and are now serving life sentences. This is the first case that I have read a story in this blog where I am absolutely convinced that something demonic happened. When Jose talked about selling his soul to the devil and trying to get Victor to do the same, I think he was telling the truth. Evil exists. Chilling!

  4. https://caselaw.findlaw.com/tx-court-of-appeals/1729165.html

    This will add to the story. Stop those who have negative comments.

  5. Corianne was a friend of my sons and ill never forget the day she was reported missing and also the day she was found. My son was so distraught.he also knew the defendants. Was a hard time. If you're charged as an adult, you should get adult penalties. In this case,the death penalty..