An Angelina County jury has found a Lufkin man guilty in the February
shooting death of another man.
Jacob Woodard, 19, receives an automatic life sentence for the capital
"We're gratified by the jury's verdict and happy that they found the
defendant guilty," Art Bauereiss, the assistant district attorney, said.
The jury deliberated about five hours.
Woodard was one of five men charged with capital murder in connection to the
Feb. 7 shooting death of Robert Darnell Bennett on California Boulevard. Lufkin
Police detectives believe that the five men came to the house to rob Bennett of
marijuana, and one of them shot him twice.
During closing arguments Friday,
Woodard's lawyer, Bill Agnew told jurors Woodard went to Bennett's to rob him
and the shooting wasn't planned.
Prosecutor Katrina Carswell told
jurors, "Jacob Woodard didn't hesitate that night, he didn't hesitate
going into the house, pulling that trigger and looking for dope."
During an interview with
detectives, Woodard said he was there for marijuana and the two shots he fired
"It was happening so fast
that I didn't mean to shoot him the first time," Woodard said on a video of the
interview that was shown to the jurors Thursday.
The four co-defendants have not
yet faced a jury. One of them, Jesus Vela, testified against Woodard. Of the
five men involved, Woodard was the only one to enter the house, but prosecutors
say everyone played a role in the murder and all are charged with capital
"There are others whose trials
are pending, but everybody's responsibility has to be judged according to their
role in the crime," Bauereiss said.
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