“This is a tragic case of a runaway girl falling into the clutches of a dangerous and violent gang,” District Attorney Kim Ogg said.
It was a crime that sent shockwaves through Houston in 2017: a 15-year-old girl murdered by gang members in a satanic sacrifice.
On Wednesday, one of those killers was sentenced to 40 years in prison for the shooting death of Genesis Cornejo-Alvarado.
The sentence was part of a plea bargain after Diego Hernandez-Rivera, 22, agreed to plead guilty just before jury selection was set to begin on Monday.
“This is a tragic case of a runaway girl falling into the clutches of a dangerous and violent gang,” District Attorney Kim Ogg said. “We will not stop in our pursuit of violent criminals who band together to terrorize communities and murder innocents.”
Hernandez-Rivera, who went by “Scary,” also pleaded guilty to aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in exchange for 12 years in prison. Those sentences will run concurrently.
The other suspect in the girl’s death, 26-year-old Miguel Alvarez-Flores, pleaded guilty to murder in February and was also sentenced to 40 years in prison.
Cornejo-Alvarado’s family in Jersey Village reported her missing in January of 2017. Police believed she had run away with a man to New York.
Prosecutors planned to show in court that the teen was with the gang and was chosen as a sacrifice and shot to death. Her body was dumped in the Sharpstown area.
During their investigation, a 14-year-old girl told police the same suspects held her against her will and forced her to have sex repeatedly over a two-week period. She said Flores and Rivera were also holding Genesis against her will, and they killed her because she bashed the gang’s shrine to a satanic saint. The gang leader decided she needed to die as a sacrifice to the saint.
“He returned from the statue and told the entire group, including the gang members, that the beast did not want a material offering, but wanted a soul,” the judge read in court after their arrest.
The 14-year-old said she woke up one morning and the victim, who called herself “Genesis,” was gone.
MS-13 or Mara Salvatrucha is a violent international gang that began in Los Angeles in the 1980s to protect Salvadoran immigrants from other gangs.
The case was investigated by the Houston Police Dept., the FBI, Texas Dept. of Public Safety, Texas Dept. of Criminal Justice Office of Inspector General and the Digital Forensics Unit of the Harris County District Attorney’s Office.