Jazmine Barnes shooting: man charged with girl's murder 'can't get a fair trial', attorney claims

The lawyer for Larry Woodruffe is claiming that his client would go through an unfair trial after an officer attacked him online. 

Woodruffe is the second man charged with seven-year-old Jazmine Barnes' death. But the 24-year-old denied the claims against him. 

His defense attorney, Lisa Andrews, took things a step further. She pointed to social media accusations from within the Houston Police department. 

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According to the Daily Mail, Andrews referred to the police union president Joe Gamaldi's "incendiary tweets" to support her stance. 

She said: 

"I believe these actions are prejudicing any eventual jury. I'm concerned, on day one, that my client may not be able to receive a fair trial in Harris County." 

On January 8, Gamaldi posted a picture of Woodruff on Twitter calling him the "dirtbag that killed Barnes." 

Andrew said the tweet was "inflammatory." She also pointed to intense public scrutiny which might skew a trial. 

She explained

“My concern is that some of our local leaders are taking steps, posting things on social media, that I believe are unprofessional and inappropriate given their position of investigating the case and prosecuting the case. I believe these actions are prejudicing any eventual jury.”

She further repeated Woodruffe's stance that he had "no involvement" in the shooting. 

She told the judge: 

“The only person that says that (Woodruffe was the shooter) is the person who got charged first. My experience is that some people have a big motive to get themselves out of hot water." 

She added: 

“It is also my experience, after 20 years of doing criminal law on both sides, that shooters don’t give up their gun. That gun he led the cops to was at his house, not my client’s.”

Eric Black Jr. was the first suspect apprehended for Barnes' death. The two men allegedly shot into the vehicle Barnes sat with her mother and two sisters on December 30. 

Barnes was the only one who died from the attack. Her mother and two siblings escaped with minor injuries.

Authorities believe that the two men mistook the vehicle for another. They had just come from a club where they were fighting with other young men. 

Black and Woodruffe reportedly thought that the vehicle was that of the young men from the club. They only knew what happened the day after when Barnes' death appeared on the news. 

Barnes' mother initially described a white male as a suspect. Authorities later clarified that this may have been a bystander who fled the scene. 

Woodruffe's extensive criminal past includes choking a woman he had dated, assaulting family, and drug and firearm possessions. 

Hundreds attended the funeral service for young Barnes on Tuesday. Many were empathetic to the family's horrific situation. 

Celebrities were also touched by the tragic loss. NBA legend Shaquille O'Neal even opted to assist with funeral finances. NFL star DeAndre Hopkins also chipped in to help. 

Meanwhile, Black has been charged with capital murder for the offense while District Judge Nikita Harmon arraigned Woodruffe on Thursday.

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