The families of pregnant Texas teen Savanah Soto and her boyfriend Matthew Guerra, who were fatally shot in a drug deal gone bad, said the arrests this week in the slayings have given them “a little peace” — but they believe that seeking the death penalty is the only way to serve justice for their murders.
Guerra’s father, Gabriel Guerra, and Soto’s brother, Jordan Corona, urged prosecutors in an interview Thursday to seek capital punishment for Christopher Preciado, 19, and his dad, Ramon Preciado, 53, who were charged in the slayings.
“To me there is no other option that would be considered justice, if we didn’t go for death penalty,” Guerra told KENS 5.
San Antonio police arrested the father-son duo on Thursday, more than a week after 18-year-old Soto and her 22-year-old beau were gunned down in his car.
Soto had been reported missing after missing her scheduled induction date. The couple’s unborn baby also died in the shooting.
Christopher was charged with capital murder while Ramon is facing charges of abuse of a corpse, with more charges pending, according to police, who said the incident “appears to be a narcotics-related deal that went bad.”
Bexar County District Attorney Joe Gonzales said more charges may be filed against Christopher in the death of baby Fabian.
“Under Texas law, an unborn child is included in the definition of a person. Therefore, Christopher Preciado can be charged with an additional count of capital murder for the death of baby Fabian,” Gonzales said in a statement, NBC News reported.
“The District Attorney’s Office will await the filing of the complete case investigation in order to thoroughly review the facts and make the appropriate charging decisions,” he added.
Christopher allegedly admitted to killing the young couple, but claimed he had been acting in self-defense, according to police.
The 19-year-old allegedly told investigators that Soto and Guerra had driven to his home to sell him marijuana when Guerra pulled out a gun, an arrest affidavit states.
Christopher claimed he wrestled Guerra for the gun, shooting him and his pregnant girlfriend in the process. – but police have stated that the story is inconsistent with the headshot wounds the couple suffered.
Christopher’s dad allegedly helped to move the bodies, and the men were allegedly captured on surveillance video at the scene.
“Nothing is going to bring my sister back,” Corona told the KENS. “Nothing is going to fix the heartaches that we’re having to go through.”
“My nephew, Fabian, his mom and his dad, they’re all gone over marijuana?” he added.
Corona told NBC News that he had no knowledge of his sister dabbling in narcotics, adding that she didn’t do drugs and was sensitive to second-hand smoke.
“My sister was a little sweetheart. She didn’t even like being near smoke,” Corona told the news outlet.
“I guess it was just one of those wrong-place, wrong-time situations. She doesn’t get around that type of stuff [drugs]. Of course, her boyfriend was the way he was, but as far as her [involvement with drugs], no,” he added.
Corona said he worried about Soto’s relationship with Guerra, who was arrested on Christmas Day in 2022 for beating her.
A doorbell camera captured him kicking the teen in the face after he screamed at her: “F—k you bitch, you betrayed me,” according to a police report shared with NBC News.
Guerra punched Soto “in the face with a closed fist 4 times on the left side of the face,” according to the report cited by the network.
The boyfriend pleaded no contest to assault causing bodily injury on a domestic partner and was placed on probation, NBC News reported, citing court records.
“It was an abusive relationship. We didn’t approve of it,” Corona told the outlet. “We tried to tell her, ‘That’s not what you need.’ Of course, at that age, you feel like you know everything. Love is powerful at that age. We couldn’t separate them.”
Corona said that the family is encouraged by the arrests.
“It gives us a little peace knowing my sister’s little family, that the person who killed them, is going toward justice,” Corona told NBC News. “Nothing will fill the emptiness of not having her and my nephew around.”