Life sentence for Houston teenager who recorded himself sexually assaulting and murdering his girlfriend
A Houston teen who raped and murdered his girlfriend - and then shared images of her lifeless body with his friends - was sentenced to life in prison this week, according to Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg’s office.
Jesus Campos Jr. was 15 when he killed 15-year-old Karen Perez on May 27, 2016. He was convicted of capital murder Monday after a six-day trial.
“I’ve tried several capital murder cases,” said Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Meriwether in a press statement. “But the recording of Karen being raped, and pleading for her life before she was so viciously murdered, will stay with me for the rest of my life.”
Perez, a freshman at South Houston High School, went missing days after her 15th birthday.
Volunteers, including Texas EquuSearch, had been searching for her for three days when Campos told his father “she is not alive.”
Campos’ father took the teen to the Houston police department to confess, but during questioning, he denied knowing where his girlfriend was. He told police that he last saw her at a taqueria the day she went missing.
Three days after Perez went missing, another teenager called Texas EquuSearch and said he was part of a group of teens including Perez and Campos who left school and went to the taco restaurant and then to an abandoned apartment complex. He told authorities that he and two other teens left and went back to school, but Perez and Campos stayed at the apartment. That was the last time he saw her alive.
Based on the tip, police found the young girl’s body.
Campos continued to insist he did not know where Perez was, but when investigators searched Campos’s cell phone they found images and a recording of the sexual assault and strangulation.
During the recording, Perez is heard crying and begging Campos not to kill her: “I don’t want to die, Jesus.”
At trial, jurors heard that Campos shared graphic images of Perez after he killed her.
The jury found Campos guilty of capital murder in less than an hour. The 18-year-old was automatically sentenced to life in prison, with a possibility of parole after 40 years.