The Evidence Room: The murder case that haunts the Harris Co. criminal exhibit archive manager

“...there was just something about his case that just tugged at my heartstrings.”

KPRC 2 Investigates new documentary series (Click2Houston 2022)

Houston – Thousands of boxes fill the shelves of the Harris County Criminal Exhibits Archive Room, and they are all managed by one woman: Rhonda Spinks. Despite the thousands of boxes full of horrors, Spinks says there’s just one case that gets to her.

The case of Josue Flores, an 11-year-old boy who was stabbed to death while walking home from Marshall Middle School in Houston.

”The Evidence Room”: The cases that changed the people of Houston

“He was an innocent boy walking home from school,” said Spinks. “I mean a lot of these murder victims are innocent people at the wrong place at the wrong time, which he was. Well, he wasn’t even in the wrong place at the wrong time because he was walking home from school! Can’t explain it.”

These are the criminal cases you think you know, but you’ve never seen them quite like this. Some altered the way people live or work, while others spurred legal changes across the state of Texas. All of these cases forever changed families of loved ones lost at the hands of the worst of humanity. This is The Evidence Room. We’re going inside the county archive of criminal exhibits in some of Houston’s most notorious cases and introducing you to the woman responsible for caretaking evidence like confession tapes, crime scene photographs - even the murder weapons themselves.

New law provides transportation funding

As a result of Josue’s murder, Texas state lawmakers passed a new law in his name to provide transportation funding for children who live within walking distance to schools in high-crime neighborhoods. Districts could apply for funding after providing data showing high risk of violence or hazardous traffic conditions. The man convicted in Josue’s death, Andre Jackson, is now in prison for a lifetime.

Jackson was a U.S. Marine and was living at a Salvation Army shelter near Marshall Middle School.

Shortly after the death of Josue, community members rallied to have the men’s shelter moved away from the area. In the end, the Salvation Army permanently closed that location.

This map shows the location of Josue’s school, where he was found dead and the proximity to the now-closed shelter.

How can you watch episodes of The Evidence Room?

You can see the premiere of The Evidence Room here. Look forward to new episodes on KPRC2+ Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m.

MORE: KPRC 2 Investigates launches new documentary series called The Evidence Room


About the Author:

Nationally-recognized investigative journalist. Passionate about in-depth and investigative stories that are important to the community. Obsessed with my Corgi pup named Chulo.