HOUSTON – The mother of 7-year-old Jazmine Barnes spoke out for the first time since the trial started for the suspect accused of shooting her child to death started.
LaPorsha Washington, Barnes’ mother, told KPRC 2 that Wednesday during court was the first time she saw Larry Woodruffe, the man accused of fatally shooting her daughter.
“I’m a little shook up but I’m okay. I’m okay,” Washington said. “Seeing Larry for the first time was kind of, you know, shaking to me.”
As nervous as she was, the mother spent close to 30 minutes recounting the morning her beloved daughter was killed.
In court, Washington said a mother knows when a child is no longer with them.
“I can feel my kids no matter where I’m at and I didn’t feel her any, so I knew she wasn’t there, that God had taken her home,” she said.
Washington said on Dec. 30, she stopped feeling Barnes.
“It’s a mother’s thing. A mother feels her child,” she said.
Prosecutors also went over Washington’s criminal history in court, which included a felony theft charge and possession of a controlled substance charge, which sent the mother to jail in 2016. This is why she says she feels for Woodruffe and his family.
“Because I have been down that road so I know how it feels to be locked up like that. Just knowing he’s going to lose his life, it’s horrible. It’s really horrible for a person to even though I lost my baby, it’s still, knowing that another parent is losing their child, is just a horrible thing to feel. It’s horrible,” Washington said.
Another person who testified on day two of the trial was another suspect charged in the shooting, Eric Black Jr. Black, who admitted to taking part in the shooting, said he hid the gun under his mattress and went to church after finding out the 7-year-old was killed.
“It just hit me, it just hit me different when I found out it was a little girl,” Black said in court.
Black also testified that he and Woodruffe believed the vehicle Barnes and her family were in was someone else he had issues with.
Woodruffe’s attorney Paul Morgan cast doubt on Black’s testimony. Black admitted he was under the influence of illicit drugs when he was interrogated. He also admitted to lying several times throughout the investigation.
During cross, Morgan said Black was “so riddled but never called police…and able to sleep with that gun every night.”
Black responded back, he said, “I realized when I got booked, I had to do this,” and that he testified “out of remorse.”
Prosecutor Alycia Harvey said in exchange for Black’s testimony, the district attorney’s office capped his sentencing at 35 years instead of 99 years.
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