Suspected Driver Confesses in Jazmine Barnes Case, Suspected Shooter Denies Involvement

Larry Woodruffe
Screenshot: KTRK

The details of seven-year-old Jazmine Barnes’ death remain murky as suspected shooter Larry Woodruffe, 24, denies involvement in the crime, claiming Eric Black Jr. was the shooter in the fatal attack.

Black, 20, previously confessed to driving the car from which Woodruffe allegedly shot and killed Jazmine during the Dec. 30 assault. The young girl had been in the backseat of a car driven by her mother, LaPorsha Washington, and shot in the head and killed. Washington was shot in the arm, and her other daughter, six, was injured by broken glass. Black and Woodruffe have each been charged with capital murder. Neither has entered a plea.

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Woodruffe, however, has denied any involvement with the crime, per NBC News. They write:

“My experience is that people have a big motive to get themselves out of hot water,” [Woodruffe’s] attorney Lisa Andrews said. “It is also my experience, after twenty years of doing criminal law on both sides, that shooters don’t give up their gun. And that gun he led the cops to was at his house, not my client’s.” …

According to court documents, Black told authorities the gun used was at his home and gave them permission to search the property. A 9 mm pistol consistent with shell casings from the shooting scene was found there.

It’s unclear if Andrews is implying Black may have gotten some sort of deal for implicating Woodruffe, but it could explain Black’s willingness to admit involvement to police. Prosecutors have the option of pursuing capital punishment with a conviction.

Woodruffe and Black, who were allegedly in an SUV during the crime, do not match the initial witness description of a 30- or 40-something white man in a pickup truck. It’s still uncertain how the jump from a white suspect to two black suspects was made, but there’s speculation the white man initially described as the shooter was a bystander fleeing the scene.

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Natalie Degraffinried

Natalie Degraffinried is a staff editor for Kotaku.