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Brothers serving life sentences for different murders

By Gheni_Platenburg
March 2, 2011 at 6:05 p.m.
Updated March 1, 2011 at 9:02 p.m.

Jose Celis

Two weeks after his younger brother was sentenced to life in prison, Jose Celis received the same fate for a different murder.

Jose Celis Jr., 21, accepted a plea deal for murder during a Wednesday morning hearing, over which District Judge Robert Cheshire presided.

In exchange for pleading guilty to murder, Celis will serve a life sentence in prison, with an eligibility for parole after 30 years.

He was charged with capital murder for the December 2009 shooting death of 26-year-old Victoria resident Rocky Wayne Neisser II. Murder was an included charge.

"The outcome really works for all parties," said Victoria County District Attorney Steve Tyler. "Essentially, this person will not return. His odds of making parole are slim to none."

Neisser's mother agreed.

"As long as I knew (Celis) would never walk the streets again, that's what I wanted," said Felicia Neisser.

"The past year has been very emotional for myself and those Rocky left behind."

She said the family felt a trial would have has been far too exhausting as they had to relive the events of the day he was killed.

"Our focus now is to try and rebuild our lives, find a new normal, and to honor my son and all those who have lost their lives to violent crimes," she said.

On Dec. 21, 2009, Neisser was found seriously wounded in the 2300 block of Hand Road.

It is believed that Celis along with another person, whose name was not released, wounded Neisser inside Neisser's Chrysler 300 Touring Model.

They dumped Neisser at the scene, and took his car, which was later found abandoned in the 500 block of South De Leon Street.

Although unconfirmed, the District Attorney's office said they believe Neisser's death was a gang hit, as Celis is a member of the Hermanos Pistoleros Latinos street gang.

Celis, who also faced aggravated assault charges, fled Victoria and was later found hiding in an HPL safe house in Laredo.

During the hearing, Tyler discussed Celis' troubled childhood as well as his borderline mentally retarded IQ.

Brothers in real life and in the HPL, Celis and Enrique Guayo Guerra will not serve their sentences together in the same cell.

Guerra, 19, was sentenced to life in prison on Feb. 18 after a jury found him guilty of shooting Joe Angel Caltzontzin, 21, to death in 2010.

An only child, Neisser, who worked as a landscaper, left behind four children ranging from 9 months to 9 years old.

He was known by many as a friendly man who dabbled in playing the guitar and loved baseball and animals, his mother said.

"I'll never forget his smile," she said. "It was sweet and told the story of who Rocky was."

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