Jose Reyes says he's been on suicide watch for a week, so he hasn't had visitors the entire time he's been in jail. I was his first one this evening. He's charged with capital murder for a crime he himself calls insane.
The last time we saw Reyes, he had longer hair. Tuesday evening, it was much shorter -- recently cut, per jail policy. He spoke freely, but he admitted to very little.
I asked what type of person would force 15-year-old Coriann Cervantes to endure such horror.
"They would be crazy in the head," said Reyes.
Prosecutors say Reyes and a 16-year-old lured Cervantes to a vacant Clear Lake apartment, beat her with a toilet tank lid, strangled her, stabbed her in the face, sexually assaulted her and carved an upside down crucifix in her stomach. The motive, prosecutors have said, was to please the devil.
"They discussed the fact that Mr. Reyes sold his soul to the devil and if they ended up killing this teenager, this would allow the 16-year-old to also sell his soul to the devil," said Assistant District Attorney John Jordan.
In jail, Reyes denied believing in satanism and claims to be a Christian, although he did say he was once curious about the devil a couple of years ago and often talked about it. He showed us a tattoo on his chest of the grim reaper.
The teen has been selling marijuana and Xanax, he says, since he dropped out of school in ninth grade. He admits to being with Cervantes and his alleged accomplice in the apartment doing drugs the night of the murder, but he says he left before they did -- when Cervantes, he claims, was still alive.
Authorities tell us he has admitted to much more. Any negative comments, Reyes explains like this: "The people who are saying stuff about me just don't like me."
Tuesday's interview was on the same day the juvenile suspect was in court. A judge denied a request to release him to his family.
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