HOUSTON (FOX 26) - The family of 7-year-old murder victim Jazmine Barnes is speaking out after a man charged with her murder has bonded out of jail.
Six month after being charged with capital murder, Eric Black Junior is out on bond, and Jazmine’s dad and stepmom are not happy about it.
“I was hurt,” said Christopher Cevilla. “The emotions started running back in. I was confused too, like, how did they lower his bond? He killed our daughter.”
Black is accused of driving the car near Walmart and Beltway 8 in east Harris County while his passenger Larry Woodruffe Jr. fired shots at the car Jazmine’s mom was driving. Sheriff’s investigators say Jazmine was hit in the head and killed while sitting in the back seat.
In late June the judge dropped Black’s bond from $500,000 to $150,000, and Woodruffe’s bond from $1 million to $250,000. Woodruffe remains in jail, but Black bonded out.
“It feels like my heart dropped out of my chest, because here it is,” said Heather Cevilla, Jazmine’s stepmom. “Y’all telling the world, like, we caught the two suspects the day of the rally, and now one is out on bond.”
“Make no mistake: $150,000 is a high bond,” said attorney Carmen Roe, a legal analyst not affiliated with the case.
Roe says it’s not uncommon for a judge to set bond extra high, then reduce a suspect’s bond once more specifics of a case are known.
FOX 26 stopped by Eric Black’s home, but no answered the door. He is out on condition he wears an ankle monitor and stays away from Jazmine’s family and Woodruffe’s family. He was able to post the 10 percent of bond amount required to get out of jail.
“This particular defendant and his family were able to put together $15,000 in cash as well as other security in order to make this bond, and that’s going to make sure that he goes to court every time,” said Roe.
It’s the latest twist in the case that made national news as civil rights activists got involved in the search for a suspect who was originally described as a white man with blue eyes.
“We still really feel like it’s a cover up,” said Christopher Cevilla. “How do you describe this person so vividly to the tee, and then all of the sudden now it’s two black guys?”
Next court appearance for Woodruffe is scheduled for August 15 followed by Black’s next court appearance August 16.