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Suspected gunman charged in 7-year-old Jazmine’s death

January 8, 2019

Larry Woodruffe, the second suspect and accused gunman in the drive-by shooting that killed 7-year-old Jazmine Barnes on Dec. 30, has been charged with capital murder, according to court records on Tuesday.

Woodruffe, 24, has been in the Harris County jail in lieu of $100,000 bail since Saturday when he was arrested for possession of drugs during a traffic stop.

He is expected in court Wednesday where a judge will likely order him held without bail, which is typical in capital murder cases in Harris County.

He faces the same level of culpibility as the suspected driver, 20-year-old Eric Black Jr., who appeared in court Monday.

State District Judge Nikita Harmon ordered that Black be held without bail on a charge of capital murder.

The charges cap more than a week of speculation and roller coaster outrage across the country after Barnes was killed in the early morning hours of Dec. 30 as she rode in the back seat of her mother’s car.

Witnesses, including Jazmine’s family, who are black, orginally said they were shot at by a white man in a red pickup, raising concerns of a hate crime.

Prosecutors now believe Black and Woodruffe, who are black, were in a dark SUV when they allegedly opened fire on the family, believing them to be a group of people they had an altercation with the night before.

Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez has said video surveillance shows that a truck was near the car and was likely the last thing the family saw before the gunfire erupted.

“Jazmine was an innocent bystander,” Assistant Harris County District Attorney Samantha Knecht said after Black’s arraignment on Monday.

Knecht said Black consented to a search of his home, where police found a semi-automatic pistol they believe to be the murder weapon.

Over the weekend, police were on the lookout for Black and Woodruffe after an anonymous tip came in and arrested both during traffic stops in which police officers found drugs.

Black was alone when he was arrested during the traffic stop. Investigators said he was arrested after they found marijuana in the car. Under Texas law, any party connected to the intentional death of a child under 10 can be charged with capital murder. If convicted, Black could face life in prison without parole or the death penalty. The decision to seek death is generally made months after an arrest.

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