HOUSTON (FOX 26) - The man charged with murdering a TSU student made his first court appearance. 22-year-old Jartis LeBlanc Jr. nodded his head at loved ones as he was led into the courtroom for a probable cause hearing. LeBlanc is charged with Aggravated Assault and Murder.
“That's my nephew. I love him and we're here for him. We're here for him,” says LeBlanc's Aunt Zella Hicks. LeBlanc is allegedly on videotape at Texas Southern University on October 9, 2015 shooting TSU student Brent Randall and Randall's brother Lawrence Flowers.
Houston Police investigators say the shooting was in retaliation after a basketball game the night before. “He was caught on TSU surveillance camera. He shot two individuals, one of which passed away, Mr. Brent Randall. The other is severely wounded and is still hospitalized,” explains Prosecutor Kathy Kahle.
Randall, an 18 year old TSU Freshman, was laid to rest Saturday. Hours before Randall's funeral, LeBlanc was arrested in a SWAT standoff after investigators received a tip Leblanc was hiding in the attic of a friend's home in Northwest Houston.
Houston police say LeBlanc is not a student but a gang member. In fact, he was released from jail just last month and was out on bond charged with theft for allegedly stealing a computer. Now he's being held on a $100,000 bond. LeBlanc's relatives say they never thought they would see him in court in handcuffs charged with murder. “It was heartbreaking. That's not him. That's not his character,” says Hicks and one other family member.
Brent Randall's mom was also in the courtroom and was so emotional as she left she nearly collapsed. This is just two days after burying her son who was in college and seemingly headed for success but a single gunshot changed that.