HOUSTON – A Houston man who has the same first name as one of the suspects in the Jazmine Barnes case said he’s received messages from strangers who have mistaken him for Eric Black Jr.
Eric Corsey, 34, started to see his picture circulate online for the last several days after Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez announced Black was charged with capital murder in regards to the 7-year-old's death.
People were shocked that the suspects in custody did not match the original description of a white male in a red pickup truck. Because of the stark difference, rumors started to spread.
Social media was abuzz with gossip that Barnes’ mother, La Porsha Washington, is Facebook friends with one of the men suspected of killing her daughter.
Washington is friends with a man named “FAN Eric” on Facebook, but people automatically assumed it was Black. Turns out, it’s Corsey.
“I only found out through other people saying that we’re friends. When I actually checked, I was like, ‘Wow,” explained Corsey.
He said he is Facebook friends with Washington but doesn’t know her in person. He said they share mutual Facebook friends and doesn’t remember when they friended each other online.
“Probably a friend of a friend, just us accepting each other’s friend request, and I honestly can tell you, I don’t know how we’re friends, but we’re friends,” said Corsey.
Corsey said once he was aware of the connection, he “waved” to Washington on Facebook but did not get a reply. He said he did not unfriend her, either, because he didn’t want to fuel the rumors.
The 34-year-old said he began to see his picture pop up on blogs as people tried to connect the dots, but he says they are wrong.
“Making me look like I’m attached to anything going on, and at the end of the day, it’s an innocent child that died, and there’s just a bunch of nonsense going on that I just want to clear up,” said Corsey.
He posted a Facebook video explaining himself, but he said he’s received messages from people over the last several days calling him names and accusing him of the crime.
“I have a whole ID to save my name. It’s Eric Corsey, not Black,” he explained.
Corsey has a 7-year-old daughter and said he’s praying for the Barnes family.
Because of the false accusations against him, he said is somewhat concerned for himself.
“I wouldn’t say nervous, but it kind of makes me keep my eyes open,” said Corsey.
He said he has a different view of people spreading others' names online in a major investigation before authorities announce information.
He said people should not believe everything online and should let police handle the detective work.
“Just clear my name and let everybody know that ain’t the image I want people to look at me as, at all,” said Corsey. “You should just keep your mouth closed, because that’s what police is for, to do their own job, and they get paid to do it.”