Bellaire HS murder suspect to stay in custody after judge rules he may present danger to community

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The 16-year-old accused of shooting and killing a Bellaire High School senior will remain in custody in juvenile detention for at least another two weeks.

A juvenile court judge made the decision Friday morning, siding with prosecutors that the teen may present a danger to the community.

The last time the student was in front of a judge, his defense lawyers said he should be released to his mother. However, this time the defense offered no new information on behalf of the teen.

The student was charged with manslaughter after police say he shot 19-year-old Cesar Cortes on Jan. 14.

According to sources with knowledge of the case, three students went to a storage area of the high school because the alleged shooter wanted to show the two other teens his gun. One teenager then walked away from the storage area. That's when he heard a shot.

Sources say the 16-year-old suspect then carried Cortes out of the storage area before running away.

READ MORE: Gun believed to be used in student's shooting death found

The search for the .32 caliber semi-automatic pistol used in the shooting began after investigators believed the suspect threw it out after leaving campus.
The suspect cooperated with investigators and reportedly told them where the gun believed to have been used in the shooting was located, according the district attorney's office.

No other information about where the weapon was found has been released.

On Friday, the judge said the teen had not caused any trouble while in custody. The judge also told him to continue with his good behavior.

Juveniles who are in custody typically go in front of a judge every two weeks.

Since the shooting, Houston Independent School District said it planned to make security changes, including exploring adding metal detectors to the middle and high schools.


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