Teen who accidentally killed friend while showing gun at Bellaire HS sentenced to 12 years

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A teen found guilty for a deadly shooting last year at Bellaire High School is expected to serve 12 years for the crime.

Authorities say the teen, who hasn't been publicly identified due to his age, was sentenced on Monday.

Cesar Cortes, a 19-year-old high school senior, was shot to death by a 16-year-old friend in Jan. 2020. At the time, sources told ABC13 the shooting was unintentional while the younger teen was showing off the gun.
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The shooter was found guilty of manslaughter, the Bellaire police chief confirmed last week.

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After days of searching, police say they found the gun believed to have been used in the shooting death of Cesar Cortes.

The deadly shooting prompted calls for greater security at the campus. A rally organized by the Bellaire High School chapter of Students Demand Action, a gun safety activist group, included at least 100 students who chanted "Justice for Cesar" while holding up homemade signs in a school courtyard.

It's unclear if the teen will serve his sentence in the juvenile system or as an adult.

The Harris County District Attorney's Office told ABC13 that while it cannot comment on a specific case, a convicted juvenile given a determinate sentence can start in the juvenile system and complete the sentence in the adult system. Juveniles are given a transfer hearing just before their 19th birthday, where a judge may decide whether to give them probation from that point on or send them to the adult system to serve out their time.

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"I was hoping they would come out and give us more than, you know, thoughts and prayers," said a visibly frustrated parent.

The video featured above is from a previous report.


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