True Crime: One Lost Life, Two Lost Souls
By Walton Golightly
Jose Reyes, 17, liked to boast he had sold his soul to the devil. Quite what that had entailed was anyone’s guess – although what was termed ‘Satanic paraphernalia’ was later found in his room.
His best friend, Victor Alas, 16, decided he also wanted to sell his soul to the devil. Could that be accomplished by murdering someone?
“Well, yeah,” said Reyes. And together they decided to rape, bludgeon and mutilate a beautiful girl as an initiation rite for Alas.
They settled on Corriann Cervantes, 15, who went to the same school as they did in Clear Lake, Texas. By all accounts she was an attractive girl who liked to listen to music and take selfies. She also attended church regularly – a fact which doubtless added to her ‘value’ as the sacrifice in a Satanic ritual.
This is not to say she was an ‘angel’. One Tuesday night in February 2014 she went to a party at a friend’s house, where she had a few drinks and smoked dagga. Reyes and Alas were also there. At some point they led Corriann to a vacant apartment. There, Reyes stabbed her while he raped her.
Corriann managed to break free, but the boys caught her as she tried to escape the apartment. Reyes hit her over the head with a toilet tank lid, the force of the blow breaking the lid in half. Reyes and Alas then stabbed her in the face and body numerous times with a screwdriver. They also bludgeoned her further with the toilet tank lid and an ashtray. Later during the post mortem, pieces of porcelain were found embedded in Corriann’s face.
While she begged for her life they gouged her eye out. Bragging about the murder to friend Miranda Leal later, Reyes said Corriann had cried out, “Why are you doing this to me?” But they continued to torture her. Then they strangled her, bashed in her head and carved an upside-down cross into her abdomen.
A few days after the murder a passer-by noticed the door to the apartment open – and discovered Corriann’s body. Reyes, meanwhile, had told two people explicit details about what they had done to Corriann. Miranda Leal said he laughed while he described the gruesome acts. She didn’t take him seriously, though, because it seemed just too bizarre. Fortunately, though, someone did take Reyes seriously – and contacted the police.
Reyes was happy to confess to the murder. Both Reyes and Alas were sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.