Brothers plead 'not guilty' to killings of 2 young cousins

By: Daniela Fierro Email
By: Daniela Fierro Email

CORPUS CHRISTI, TEXAS (KRIS) -- The 2 men charged with killing 2 young girls on Cheryl Drive were brought to court to enter pleas.

27-year-old Brendon Gaytan and 22-year old Cruz Salazar pleaded "not guilty" to capital murder charges. Their trial date has been set for October 27th.

Today we also learned that the men are brothers. Gaytan is also the uncle of one of the young victims, 6-year old Nevaeh Oliva. She and her cousin, little 2-year old Lillyana Valent, were shot and killed at a home on Cheryl Drive during a birthday party back on February 16th.

After the hearing, the suspects' mother spoke to KRIS 6 News about the charges. She believes whole heartedly that her sons are innocent. She said there is no way her sons would hurt a family member.

"They're both innocent. They need to find the ones that did it. That's what they need to do," says their mother, Patricia Alejandro.

She says it broke her heart to see her sons in court today. "It hurts. It hurts 'cause they're my sons. And my sons didn't do this."

They are charged with killing two-year-old Lillyanna Valent and six-year-old Nevaeh Oliva on February 16th.

Family says Gaytan and Nevaeh's father are stepbrothers and at one point Gaytan lived with them.

"They wouldn't have done that. They wouldn't done it. We're family. We were all close and everything."

The family came together after the hearing to say a prayer, in hopes a higher power will help them.

"Wwe're a good family. We value children. But we also value their freedom. And we will keep on praying and we will be here every time," says Mary Gaytan.

Brendon Gaytan and Cruz Salazar will be back in court May 30th for a pre-trial hearing. At that time it may be announced whether they will face the death penalty.

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