Second man charged with capital murder in Jazmine Barnes shooting death

Larry Woodruffe, 24, due in court for drug possession charge

HOUSTON – A second suspect in the shooting death of 7-year-old Jazmine Barnes has been charged with capital murder in the case.

Larry Woodruffe, 24, was charged Tuesday with capital murder after deputies said corroborating evidence of his involvement was confirmed.

Woodruffe remains in the Harris County jail on a drug possession charge. He was ordered held on a $100,000 bond for that charge.

Eric Black Jr., 20, is also charged with capital murder. He was arrested Saturday after a tip. Deputies said Black admitted to taking part in the shooting.

Investigators said Jazmine was shot in the head on the morning of Dec. 30 when someone opened fire into her family’s car, with her mother and three sisters also inside, on the East Sam Houston Parkway feeder road near Wallisville Road. Jazmine’s mother was injured.

Woodruffe has a lengthy criminal history and Houston Crimestoppers’ Andy Kahan is questioning the punishment Woodruffe received for past crimes. 

"These are questions that have yet to be answered and hopefully will (be) down the line," said Kahan.

Kahan is specifically referring to a pair of criminal cases involving Woodruffe. Court records show Woodruffe was sentenced in January 2017 to two years in prison for assaulting a family member. That same year he was released under mandatory supervision, and by November he was charged with being a felon in possession of a gun.

Court records show he pleaded guilty to a lesser charge in the weapons case and was sentenced to nine months in county jail. 

"Certainly questions are going to arise, if he had been returned to prison, would he have been out?" said Kahan.

Court records show when Woodruffe pleaded guilty in the weapons case he was two months shy of completing his sentence on the assault charge.

Here is a response from Raymond Estrada from the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles:

"In the case of Mr. Larry Woodruffe, his charge had been reduced to Attempted Possession of a Firearm for which he received a 9 month sentence in the Harris County Jail. Additionally, this was his first violation. With a scheduled discharge date from supervision of June 25, 2018; if revoked, his maximum discharge date would have extended approximately a couple of months. On April 25, 2018 a parole panel, after the careful consideration of all factors, voted to reinstate his supervision after serving the sentence imposed by the court."

The Houston Police Officers Union sent out a tweet questioning why Woodruffe was allowed to plead guilty to a lesser charge in the weapons case. Officials with the Harris County District Attorney’s Office have not yet responded to KPRC’s request for comment.

Court records show before these cases, Woodruffe also faced drug possession, trespassing and evading arrest charges.


About the Author:

Award winning investigative journalist who joined KPRC 2 in July 2000. Husband and father of the Master of Disaster and Chaos Gremlin. “I don’t drink coffee to wake up, I wake up to drink coffee.”