A Texas couple are accused of cyberbullying the man’s ex-girlfriend to the point that she fatally shot herself in front of her family.
Andres Arturo Villagomez, 21, and Karinthya Sanchez Romero, 22, of Galveston were indicted by a grand jury on Thursday in connection with the November 28 death of Brandy Vela, 18. Vela supposedly killed herself following months of cyberbullying, harassment, and stalking, according to People.
2 arrested in alleged cyberbullying suicide of teen Brandy Vela, who killed herself in front of her family https://t.co/9NwJ0ru2ah pic.twitter.com/hZL5EnWDtk
— People Magazine (@people) March 16, 2017
Villagomez, the victim’s ex-boyfriend, allegedly posted nude pictures of Vela online. Romero is accused of repeatedly calling the teen and sending her threatening text messages, according to KPRC.
The victim’s sister, Jackie Vela, told People that Brandy’s bullies created fake Facebook accounts that talked about her weight, how she looked, and claimed she would have sex for free. Jackie said the profiles would be deleted and recreated days later.
On the day she died, Jackie said she found Brandy in her bedroom with a gun to her chest. Though Jackie begged Brandy to put the gun down, the teen said “I can’t do this anymore. I’m tired. I’ve come too far not to do it” and pulled the trigger, according to her family.
Press Release Update – Brandy Vela Case pic.twitter.com/fNetok985Z
— Texas City PD (@texascitypd) March 16, 2017
In a news release obtained by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Texas City Police Department, who investigated months to identify the 18-year-old’s tormentors, claimed the harassment continued months after Brandy died.
The Houston Chronicle reported that Villagomez is facing unlawful disclosure or promotion of intimate visual material, a Class A misdemeanor. He is held in Galveston County jail on a $2,500 bond.
Meanwhile, Romero is charged with stalking and online impersonation, both third-degree felonies. The 22-year-old is held on a $10,000 bond for each charge. Villagomez faces up to a year in jail and a $4,000 fine if convicted. If found guilty, Romero could spend up to 10 years behind bars and a $10,000 fine for each charge.
“I was just so ecstatic, jumping around,” Brandy’s father, Raul Vela, told KPRC. “I could barely contain myself. It’s not justice, but I think it’s the first step to justice, and I think we’re definitely on the right path.”
[Feature Photo: Texas City Police Department/GoFundMe]