Breaking News

Man charged in murder of Jazmine Barnes in Houston

A 20-year-old man has been charged with capital murder in the drive-by shooting death of 7-year-old Jazmine Barnes of Houston and it's likely a case of mistaken identity, investigators said early Sunday.

Another man was the shooter from the passenger seat of the car, the Houston Chroncle reported.

Eric Black Jr. was taken into custody during a traffic stop without incident after an investigation revealed evidence that corroborated a tip, the Harris County Sheriff's Office said in a news release posted at 12:41 a.m CST. Deputies discovered marijuana in the gray Kia he was driving.

Black admitted to taking part in the shooting in northeast Houston, the sheriff's office said.

He appeared in court around 5 a.m. and is being held without air. He is to be formally charged in his next hearing Monday.

On Dec. 30, Jazmine's mother was driving Jazmine and her three sisters on a highway when at approximately 6:50 a.m. they were fired upon by someone in another vehicle.

The sheriff's office said all evidence gathered so far supports investigators' strong belief that she and her family were innocent victims.

"The source said the suspects thought the complainant's vehicle was some other person's vehicle that they had seen earlier in the night and that they shot the car by mistake," according to the complaint obtained by KPRC-TV. "The source said that they did not realize the vehicle that they had shot into was the complainant's vehicle until seeing it on the news later in the day."

Black was driving a rental vehicle of unknown description and not a red pickup truck as originally thought by investigators, according to the complaint. And he was driving another vehicle, the Kia, at the time of his arrest.

Barnes was shot in the head, and her mother, LaPorsha Washington, was shot in the arm.

"She said, 'Momma, Jazmine's not moving. She's not talking.' I turned around and my 7-year-old was shot in the head," Washington, 30, said in recounting a comment by one of her daughters.

Investigators released a sketch of the suspect, who was depicted a white man in his 40s. The two suspects are black.

"I am grateful to our dedicated investigators, the partner law enforcement agencies that provided vital assistance, and tipsters from across the nation who pulled together to support our work to get justice for Jazmine," Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said. "Our work is not finished, but I believe the people of Harris County can take comfort in knowing we have made great progress."

Prosecutors were able to ask for a charge of capital murder because the victim was under 10. He can be held just as culpable as the actual gunman under a Texas law that holds accomplices equally responsible for slayings.

"Now my baby has gotten justice," Christopher Cevilla, the girl's father said during a news conference. "Now we can properly put her to rest without having to put her to rest and we're still on a manhunt looking for a suspect."

The funeral is scheduled for Tuesday.

Join Geezgo for free. Use Geezgo's end-to-end encrypted Chat with your Closenets (friends, relatives, colleague etc) in personalized ways.>>

No comments