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Maria Reyes stop a dress her daughter Damaris to be going to wear for a Sweet 15 Quinceanera celebration. (Dan Morse/TWP)
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Maria Reyes snapped her eyes shut together monitors in the Fairfax ar courtroom lit up. No only had the MS-13 attackers taken her daughter’s life, they had also filmed she final, agonizing minutes.

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Now the clips to be the central piece of proof in a killing trial in the fatality of 15-year-old Damaris A. Reyes Rivas, a high-profile instance that helped propel MS-13 to a top worry in the Virginia governor’s race.

Damaris showed up on the display screens with chubby cheeks, stonewashed jeans and also a black color T-shirt that check out “ ’Ello Darling.” She looked young, favor a girl prepared for the mall.

But she was in snow-dusted woods in Springfield top top a brilliant January day, surrounded by taunting associates that MS-13. One ominously clicked a cigar cutter while the girl to be told in Spanish that she might lose a finger. They warned Damaris the they had actually a rifle and gas.

They shouted at her, demanding information about her function in the slaying of their clique leader, Christian Sosa Rivas, that was set up and also killed with machetes, tree limbs and rocks in Prince william County about a week earlier. They blamed Damaris for luring him come his death.


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15-year-old Damaris A. Reyes Rivas that Gaithersburg, right, is presented with her mother, Maria Reyes, left. (Family photo)

Then the display screen faded to black. Tears rolled under the cheeks the Maria Reyes.

She would have to endure an ext horrific clips before a jury changed a decision of guilty that second-degree killing Tuesday against Wilmer A. Sanchez Serrano, 22, among 10 young human being charged in link with Damaris’s torture and also killing.

The jury sentenced him to 33 years in prison. A referee will worry a final sentence march 23.

The videos are one of the most chilling testaments to day of the revival of MS-13, a corridor whose brutality has asserted dozens of stays in the Washington area and also up and down the East coast in current years.

The cruelty on display screen on the screens stunned the courtroom right into silence and also forced a grieving mother to suffer her loss almost everywhere again.

Maria Reyes had brought Damaris to the United states from El Salvador at period 12 to escape MS-13, i m sorry menaces the country. However the girl had actually left your Gaithersburg residence in mid-December and fallen in through members of the very same gang.


Prosecutors stated that Damaris was lured to Lake Accotink Park in Springfield top top Jan. 8. There, she to be met by Sanchez Serrano, then 21, and also nine members of MS-13. The youngest were 15.

Prosecutors said the group beat and also kicked Damaris if interrogating her about Sosa Rivas’s slaying. They relocated her approximately the park ~ above a gall cold day end a couple of hours.

Sanchez Serrano testified in his own defense, admitting his role in the killing but saying he was tricked into going to the park and also was not a member of MS-13.

He said he was threatened with death if he did not take part in Damaris’s killing.

“If ns did that, it’s because they make me,” Sanchez Serrano claimed through an interpreter throughout his testimony.

Three other defendants were convicted in October of their duty in Damaris’s killing. A grasp of others room awaiting attempt or plea hearings.

The 2nd video begins a short while after ~ the first. Damaris, wearing neither a shirt nor shoes in the woods, is seen shivering violently.

Prosecutors said the gang required the girl come strip because they wanted her to feeling the exact same chill Sosa Rivas feel the job he to be killed and dumped in an icy grape max River.

Venus Romero Iraheta, 17, that is charged through murder in the case, is viewed wielding a large hunting knife.

“What the f---!” who shouts off-camera in Spanish. “Just rod the stole in her.”

But the torture would certainly not end so quickly.

Prosecutors stated Damaris was taken to a last location nearby, surrounding to a Beltway overpass. Iraheta, that dated Sosa Rivas, then challenged Damaris one critical time, an FBI certified dealer testified in ~ an earlier hearing. ~ Damaris admitted that she had actually a sexual connection with Sosa Rivas, Iraheta grew enraged.

Iraheta noted her full name therefore Damaris would understand the name of she killer and then “told the victim she would never ever forgive her and would watch her in hell,” the certified dealer testified.

Iraheta then allegedly hurry the knife into Damaris’s abdomen and neck, again and also again.

As prosecutors ready to beat the 3rd clip, which was taken ~ the stabbing, Maria Reyes cringed together if expecting a blow. The video lasted simply seconds, yet it verified Damaris top top her earlier among the leaves, v blood ~ above a hand and also her forehead.

Sanchez Serrano enters the framework with a huge tree branch and also plunges it into Damaris’s neck repeatedly. After ~ the clip ended, Maria Reyes’s head dropped to one side together she was overcome by grief. She clutched a organization in one hand and also wept.

Despite the obvious weight of she loss, Maria Reyes climbed on the final day of the trial and also took the witness stand. The mom said Damaris was smiley and intelligent.

She played a video of she daughter blowing out candles top top a cake, together if to make the the lasting image of the teen, not the ghoulish recordings of she murder. She described how she buried Damaris in the quincenara dress she never acquired to wear.

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“My girl has suffered for this reason much. I still endure so much,” she testified v a Spanish translator.

“Sometimes ns see various other girls on the street. I check out them from behind and it seems favor I’m see her, yet they revolve around and also it’s no her. I wish I could touch her. Ns wish I could hug her.”