A woman from Houston, Texas has been accused of killing her sister and forcing her teenage son to help move the body.
According to a felony complaint obtained by People, Carmen White, 38, is now facing a capital murder charge in connection to the March 31 death of her younger sister Cynthia Cervantes, 37 (inset). Cynthia was reportedly shot multiple times, including once in the back of the neck, before she was dumped at the end of a road and set on fire.
Video footage caught on April 1 allegedly shows Carmen’s gray Chevrolet HHR at the location where the body was dumped for about six to seven minutes before driving off.
A witness told police that Carmen was angry with her kid sister for calling the police on her in February. At the time, Cynthia allegedly “reported a terroristic threat” against her big sis, who was “arrested at the time and found to have methamphetamine in her possession.” The felony complaint continued:
“[Witness] stated that [White] was very angry about [Cervantes] calling the police, having to go to jail and her previous car being towed and not being able to recover it from the tow lot.”
It’s unclear why Cynthia felt her sister was a “terroristic threat,” but the action clearly caused a severe rift.
Another witness told authorities that on March 31 he was contacted by Carmen to help dispose of the body — allegedly in exchange for “sexual favors.” The witness explained that he was picked up and taken to a vacant unit below the 38-year-old’s apartment building “where she showed him a body and said that she needed help moving the body to her vehicle in exchange for sexual favors as payment.” The report noted:
“[Witness] described the body as wrapped in a garbage bag, but he could clearly see that the person was deceased.”
He reportedly declined to help and asked to be driven back home.
This wasn’t the only person Carmen allegedly asked for help. Investigators also spoke to her 13-year-old son. He had been playing with his 12-year-old brother in the park when his mom showed up. He followed her to the apartment complex’s dumpster where she allegedly “instructed him to assist her in lifting a bagged unknown item from the dumpster area and placing it in [the] trunk of her vehicle.” He reportedly didn’t know what was inside the bag at first, the complaint read:
“[He] reached down and lifted what felt like human legs, so he dropped the legs back to the ground.”
His mother then became very angry, according to the report, and forced him to continue with the task — which he did out of fear of retribution:
“[Her son] said that he again resisted, but his mother became extremely aggressive, and he feared what she may do to him, so he gave in out of fear for his safety. [Her son] said he then went to his apartment and went to sleep.”
Whoa. What a traumatizing situation for all those involved. Carmen’s next hearing is scheduled for Wednesday. It’s unclear if she has entered a plea yet. Her attorney could not be reached for comment. The punishment for a capital crime in Texas is a life sentence in jail or the death penalty.
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