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Accused Killer of 12-Year-Old Faces Judge in Harris County Court

Terry Bryan Rivera, 27, appeared before a judge in Harris County for the first time since his extradition to face charges in the shooting death of 12-year-old Carlos Fernandez on March 4. Rivera is charged with capital murder, and the judge set his bond at $2 million.

Prosecutor Jamie Burro explained the circumstances that led to the bond decision, stating that the specific provision for capital murder involving the death of a child between the ages of 10 and 15 does not allow for the death penalty. Therefore, Rivera cannot be held without bond.

Burro also noted that Rivera’s financial situation, revealing to the judge that he claimed to possess only a pickup truck as his sole asset and is currently unemployed, suggesting he is unlikely to make bond.

The Harris County District Attorney’s Office plans to pursue a sentence of life in prison without parole for Rivera.

New details emerged about the tragic events on the night Carlos was killed. Prosecutors revealed that Rivera allegedly reached through an open window of the room where Carlos’s sisters were sleeping and opened fire, fatally striking Carlos while his sisters remained unharmed.

Ashley Rostro, the children’s mother, recounted hearing Rivera’s voice moments before the gunshots rang out. Rivera allegedly called Rostro from a blocked number after the shooting, prompting a chilling exchange where Rostro confronted him about his presence.

In an interview with KHOU 11 News, Rostro expressed her feelings towards Rivera, labeling him as a “coward” and “heartless.”

Sheriff Ed Gonzalez disclosed that Rivera was apprehended at the Texas-Mexico border on Monday while attempting to re-enter the United States from Mexico. Customs and Border Protection agents identified Rivera through biometric verification and federal law enforcement databases, leading to his arrest.

Rivera spent the night in Cameron County Jail before being transferred back to Houston. Authorities emphasized Rivera’s classification as a high-profile inmate, indicating he will undergo different processing and likely be separated from other prisoners.

Despite Rivera’s capture, Carlos’s family expressed gratitude for the community’s support and the efforts of law enforcement in bringing Rivera to justice.