Texas man gets 12 years for carjacking

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Carjacking victim "extremely satisfied" with judge's sentence

POSTED: Thursday, June 13, 2013 - 7:45am
UPDATED: Monday, June 17, 2013 - 9:00am

BEAUMONT (KBMT) -- It was a day that Jewel Courts would like to forget. On June 24, 2012, Courts was carjacked at knife point behind Pappadeaux's restaurant (where she works) by Rogellio Torres.

"It showed me what the devil's capable of," Courts told 12News Wednesday afternoon.

Courts says Torres forced her into her car, drove towards Winnie, threatened to kill her, then showed her a ditch where he was going to leave her body.

"It's extremely terrifying to not have the control of whether you live or die," said Courts, who was just 19 at the time of the carjacking.

Courts told Torres she could give him money, so he drove her to an ATM where she withdrew cash. Torres then inexplicably left Courts on the side of the road. He was arrested 3 days later and charged with carjacking.

Torres, 20, pleaded guilty, and was sentenced to 12 years in federal prison Wednesday.

"I'm extremely satisfied," said Courts.

Courts, along with friends and family showing their support, was at the federal courthouse in Beaumont for the sentencing. Before the sentence was delivered, Courts took the stand and gave a very emotional testimony, often breaking down in tears when she recounted the day she thought would be her last, and how because of it, she'll never be the same.

"I always think of the worst in people, but hopefully today now I can continue to move on and think about all the good that people have to offer,"she said.
Torres expressed no emotion during Courts' testimony.

Now Courts is looking towards the future. She's taking college classes and continues her work as a manager at Pappadeaux's. She finds strength in God, and hopes Torres will too.

"I pray for him, I hope that he finds the God that released his mind and kept him from doing the things that I thought he was going to do to me," she said.

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