Alleged killer of gay Houston man to face trial as adult

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The teen accused of killing a gay Houston man in the parking lot of a popular gay bar will stand trial as he faces capital murder charges as an adult. 

Alferis Coby, 16, appeared in court on Wednesday for a probable cause hearing, just a week after State District Judge Michael Schneider issued a seven-page report certifying the teen as an adult. Coby was 15 when he allegedly gunned down Juan Carlos Ramirez on March 12 as he and a friend left the bar after watching a talent show. Coby and a second teen were allegedly trying to rob Ramirez and steal his vehicle. When he resisted, the teens allegedly shot him. The teens are also charged with shooting another man in the stomach during an attempted robbery earlier that night.

Coby and the second man were arrested hours later when police spotted them driving Ramirez's vehicle in southeast Houston.

The killing of Ramirez, and a handful of other violent incidents, sparked outrage among gay Houstonians. About 50 people rallied on March 13 to Take Back Montrose. And on March 22, Ramirez was memorialized during a packed event at F Bar with a crowd that included Mayor Annise Parker, Houston City Council member Richard Nguyen, state Sen. John Whitmire, and gay City Council hopeful Lane Lewis.

The outpouring of support for Ramirez helped raise $13,650 during a GoFundMe campaign to pay for funeral expenses. 

On Wednesday, a shackled Coby appeared in court as a judge found probable cause to move forward with a trial on the capital murder and aggravated assault charges, according to KTRK.

A week earlier, Schneider detailed his reasons for ordering Coby tried as an adult, according to the Houston Chronicle.

Clinical psychologist Dr. Alexandra Tellez determined that Coby showed a high level of criminal sophistication and dangerousness compared to most individuals his age.

He showed a lack of empathy after admitting to shooting Ramirez, according to the court document. Coby said he has a hard time managing his anger and is easily irritable. Coby also shows poor ability to reflect on his behavior in order to make adjustments to his life and shows lack of emotion or remorse for his alleged crimes, according to the order.

The judge also noted Coby's extensive criminal background, including a November 2014 incident in which he was accused of shooting a man four times.

Coby also admitted to being in more then 50 fights throughout his life, the judge's order states. Schneider said that since he hasn't been able to change his behavior throughout his years in the Harris County penal system, more time in the juvenile detention center wouldn't be enough for him to be reformed.

[image via KTRK]


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