Daughter of Capital Murder victim questions judge's decision to lower suspect's bond

In our Breaking Bond report, we were the first to tell you about a judge lowering a capital murder suspect’s $250,000 bond to just $50,000 who went on to allegedly kill a Texas Southern University student. The daughter of that victim spoke with FOX 26, who says she was shocked to learn he's back on the streets. 

"The day that he passed away the way that he passed something broke inside me that nobody can ever put back together," said Ena Jeter.

MORE: Judge lowers 20-year-old capital murder defendant's bond to $50,000; now he's accused of killing someone else

Jeter lost her 54-year-old father Silvano Cortez on October 19th, 2017, during a home invasion.

In June 2018, a then 17-year-old Jonathan Vera was charged with Capital Murder with a bond was set at $250,000. Then in March 2021, 351st Criminal District Court Judge Natalia Cornelio lowered Vera's bond to just $50,000.

That questionable decision made national headlines.

"I've not seen a lower bond for capital murder in my 30 plus years, and he got out," said Andy Kahan with Crime Stoppers.


In no time at all Vera is accused of taking another life, after running a red light and allegedly killing TSU student Summer Chester, 23.

"We didn't even know that he was out on bond our family just found out this past Wednesday that he got out on bond, and we found out he killed someone else while he was on bond, we were shocked angry," Jeter said.

Jeter has this to say to 351st Criminal District Court Judge Natalia Cornelio.

"I ask the judge are you telling me my dad's life was only worth 5 thousand dollars what he had to pay to get out and this young lady's life that's now gone what do you tell her family," said Jeter.

EXPLAINER: The right to bond and how it works

Jeter's 16-year-old nephew Esteban Alcaraz was shot to death last November. His alleged killer 18-year-old Nathan Salazar was free from jail on multiple bonds.

"It's a problem it's not ok," said Jeter "why does this keep happening."