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Rockwall Resident Sentenced to Life in Prison In Father’s Murder

Aurora Sonano Reyes

(ROCKWALL, TX — July 12, 2019) On July 11, a Rockwall County jury took less than an hour to convict Rockwall resident, Aurora Reyes, 62, for the first-degree felony offense of Injury to an Elderly Person Causing Serious Bodily Injury.  The same jury, after hearing additional punishment evidence, sentenced Reyes to life imprisonment in the Texas state penitentiary.

Testimony at trial showed that on June 1, 2017, Reyes and her husband used a cane to beat Reyes’ 86-year-old father, Andres Reyes, to death.  Additionally, it was shown that prior to his death, the deceased had endured emotional, verbal, and physical abuse on a daily basis during the two years in which he lived in the home shared by Reyes, her husband, and their then-12-year-old daughter.  Compelling testimony given by the now-14-year-old girl, who was an eyewitness to the beating, included a detailed account of the abuse suffered by her grandfather at the hands of her parents.  According to the child’s testimony, the beating that ultimately caused her grandfather’s death lasted more than six hours. The jury also heard a 24-minute audio recording that captured a portion of the violent assault.

Reyes’ husband, Richard Nichols, also testified at the trial. Charges against Nichols remain pending in Rockwall County.

Lead prosecutor, Kerri New, said, “The defendant’s actions cost Andres Reyes his life, and she damaged many other lives, as well.  The jury heard not only about horrific abuse inflicted by the defendant on her own father, but also heart-wrenching testimony about additional acts of physical and emotional abuse she perpetrated on her own children.  The jury gave a just verdict in light of the overwhelming evidence.”

“This was a difficult case for everyone involved,” said Rockwall County District Attorney Kenda Culpepper. “I appreciate the collaborative effort between law enforcement and prosecutors to bring this victim the justice he deserved.”

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