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Joseph Felix Perez sentenced to 40 years for 2020 murder of Tanya Garza Brown

Tanya's brother John Brown said the sentence was not the outcome their family wanted.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Joseph Felix Perez, the then 21-year-old who brutally stabbed 42-year-old Tanya Garza Brown on the 200 block of North Port Avenue in 2020 was sentenced in court Wednesday. 

Perez avoided the capital murder charge after agreeing to plead guilty to the lesser charge of murder. In return, the district attorney recommended Perez serve 40 years in prison and 117th District Court Judge Sandra Watts agreed. 

After proceedings, 3NEWS spoke with the victim's brother and stepsister who were candid with their thoughts.

Tanya's brother John Brown said Perez needed to face the consequences for killing his sister. He added that the sentence was not the outcome their family wanted.

"Nothing will bring my sister back. So, hurt? I'm always gonna be hurt. Every time I think of her. Every time I see something that reminds me of her. She will never be brought back. For his stupidity," Brown said. 

Tanya's stepsister Christine Schraer said when she saw Perez in the courtroom she was conflicted with her emotions.

"We both came in here today, angry," Schraer said. "And neither one of us said to him what we thought we would say once we got up there. The second he walked in -- he's so young. And I'm sure his family is hurting, because they lost their son too. But the difference is, he's still alive and Tanya isn't." 

John told 3NEWS that he felt that his late sister was speaking through him when he was making his impact statement. As for Perez, he'll spend the next 40 years of his life in prison. 

Because Perez used a deadly weapon to kill Brown, he will have to serve half of his sentence before he's eligible for parole.

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