Jocelyn Nungaray murder: Illegal immigrant suspect accused of killing Houston girl has bail set at $10M

Jocelyn Nungaray murder: Illegal immigrant suspect accused of killing Houston girl has bail set at M

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One of the two illegal immigrant suspects charged with murdering 12-year-old Jocelyn Nungaray in Houston last week had his bail set at $10 million during his first court appearance Monday.

Franklin Jose Pena Ramos, 26, and Johan Jose Rangel Martinez, 21, have each been charged with capital murder. Pena Ramos, who appeared Monday at Harris County Criminal Court, was determined by Judge Josh Hill to be a flight risk and was told that if he posts bail, he must wear a GPS monitor and remain under house arrest, among other restrictions. 

“She had such a bright future ahead of her and I knew she was going to go very far. And these monsters took that opportunity from her, from our family of watching her,” Nungaray’s mother Alexis told reporters following the hearing. 

“I just want people to remember, I know this is very high-profile case, but she was still my first born. I was a teen mom, I fought for her at 15. I’m 27 now, I’m still fighting for her,” she continued. “Just remember that she was a very special little girl that deserves her justice and I know she is going to make a difference in this world for all children and now it’s my job to make sure it continues to happen.” 


Jocelyn Nungaray’s mother Alexis Nungaray speaks following Pena Ramos’ court appearance on Monday, June 24. (KRIV)

Prosecutors last week had requested bail for each suspect to be set at $1 million and a medical examiner listed the cause of death as strangulation. 

Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg also said Monday alongside Alexis Nungaray that prosecutors will ask for the same bond for Rangel Martinez tomorrow and “as soon as our lab results are back, and if they support a death penalty-eligible type of capital murder, then we will come back and ask for no bond.”

“In this case the defendant lured a 12-year-old under a bridge, where he and his co-defendant remained with her for over 2 hours, took her pants off, tied her up, and killed her, then threw her body into the bayou,” Harris County Assistant District Attorney Michael Abner wrote in court documents obtained by Fox News.

Jocelyn Nungaray murder suspects

Franklin Jose Pena Ramos, left, and Johan Jose Rangel Martinez have been charged in the killing of Jocelyn Nungaray in Houston on Monday, June 17. (Harris County Jail)

Alexis Nungaray was inside Harris County Criminal Court for the hearing today. 

“I still see her face in the back of my head every day, all day. I keep getting little signs about her throughout the days,” she also said. “It’s been a very, very hard time for me and my family but the amount of support I’ve been getting from everybody, it’s from the bottom of my heart so appreciated.” 

Franklin Jose Pena Ramos court appearance

Franklin Jose Pena Ramos appears in court on Monday, June 24.

On Thursday, Fox News reported that the two suspects from Venezuela had entered the U.S. illegally before being released from custody. An Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesperson confirmed the news on Friday, saying in a statement that “Martinez and Pena both illegally entered the U.S. without inspection, parole or admission by a U.S. immigration officer on an unknown date and at an unknown location.” 


images of Jocelyn Nungaray

Jocelyn Nungaray, 12, was found strangled to death in a Houston creek this week. (Fox Houston courtesy of the Nungaray family)

Investigators used surveillance video to track the movements of Rangel Martinez and Pena Ramos before and after the killing, Houston Police Lt. Stephen Hope said last week. 

Police said Rangel Martinez and Pena Ramos, along with Nungaray, were seen walking to a 7-Eleven convenience store. 

Jocelyn Nungaray killed in Houston

Two men who were seen on surveillance footage with a 12-year-old girl hours before her body was found in a Houston creek earlier this week were arrested on Thursday, June 20, 2024 in connection with her death, police said. (Melissa Phillip/Houston Chronicle)


Afterward, the three of them walked to a bridge, where investigators said Nungaray was murdered. Rangel Martinez and Pena Ramos then walked to the apartment they shared and left the girl’s body behind, police said. Police believe the pair lived in the same apartment complex as Nungaray.  

Fox News’ Bill Melugin, Louis Casiano and Griff Jenkins contributed to this report.

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