The 24-year-old man accused of firing the shots that killed 7-year-old Jazmine Barnes appeared Thursday in court, where he reportedly denied any involvement in the brutal slaying that captured the attention of the nation.
An attorney for Larry Woodruffe said he was not present when Barnes was gunned down while riding in her mother’s car in Houston, and that it was Eric Black Jr. who pulled the trigger, according to ABC13.
Both Woodruffe and Black, 20, have been charged with capital murder in the Dec. 30 slaying.
Woodruffe’s attorney reportedly filed a motion in court requesting a change in venue, citing “inappropriate” social media posts from local law enforcement that could possibly taint a jury pool.
The two men were identified as suspects based on an anonymous tip, the Harris County Sheriff’s Office said.
Black was arrested Saturday after he failed to use a turn signal while driving, and authorities said he then admitted to driving the car from which the bullets were fired at Barnes. He was charged with capital murder Sunday, but is not believed to have been the gunman.
Woodruffe was arrested on an unrelated drug charge Sunday, and was charged with capital murder Tuesday after prosecutors found “additional corroborating evidence” linking him to the killing.
Despite his insistence that he was not involved, prosecutors say Woodruffe’s phone records place him “in close proximity” to the scene of the crime.
Barnes, her three sisters and their mother LaPorsha Washington were sitting at a red light in the early hours of Dec. 30 when another car approached and fired eight shots into their vehicle, killing Barnes and injuring Washington.
The sheriff’s office has said the shooting was likely a case of mistaken identity, and that Barnes and her family were not the intended targets.