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Man charged in New Year's Day death of teen girl

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TWC News: Man charged in New Year's Day death of teen girl
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Police have charged 23-year-old Mario Angeles-Hernandez with endangering a child, a state jail felony, in the New Year’s Day death of 13-year-old Sophia Martinez.

Sophia was unresponsive when she was dropped off on the driveway of a friend’s house at 2409 Lakehurst Drive shortly before 11:30 a.m. on Jan.1.

Sophia and her 15-year-old friend were supposed to spend New Year’s Eve at that residence, but instead were picked up by 23-year-old Jose Ricardo Garcia-Zavala, or “Joe”, who the girls had met at a bus stop a few weeks earlier, according to police records.

"Joe" drove the two teenagers to the residence he shared with Angeles-Hernandez, also in southeast Austin.

Angeles-Hernandez told police it was there that he had vodka and tequila available for the teens. Sophia’s 15-year-old friend told officers she saw Sophia drink five servings of Grey Goose Vodka and four servings of whiskey. The friend also stated the men had given them a rolled cigarette of what she called "fake marijuana."

According to an arrest affidavit, the friend told police that when she went to bed around 2 a.m., Sophia was still awake. However, later that morning, Sophia was lying on the couch and not breathing.

The 15-year-old girl asked Angeles-Hernandez and “Joe” to call 911, but the men said they didn’t want any “drama” at their home.

Thirty minutes later, “Joe” drove the girls back to the residence on Lakehurst Drive. The adult resident of that household, Cynthia Perez-Torres, began performing CPR while waiting for paramedics to arrive.

First responders continued life-saving measures and transported Sophia to Dell Children’s Hospital, where she was pronounced dead shortly before 1 p.m. on New Year’s Day.

According to APD, Jose Ricardo Garcia-Zavala is wanted for an active parole violation warrant. If anyone knows his whereabouts, they are asked to call police.

Angeles-Hernandez is not currently in custody. His bond is set at $100,000.

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