Suspect in Lufkin capital murder trial: 'I didn't want to kill him'

Jacob Woodard (Source: Angelina Jail)
Jacob Woodard (Source: Angelina Jail)

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Testimony in the capital murder trial for one of five men accused in the February shooting death of a Lufkin man continued Thursday morning.

Day 2 of the trial featured a video of an interview between the suspect and detectives in which he admitted to shooting the victim during the course of a robbery because the man pulled a gun on him.

Jacob Woodard, 19, faces life in prison if he is convicted.

"I didn't want to get caught, and I didn't want to kill him," Woodard said in a video of an interview between him and Lufkin Police Department detectives. "I was afraid he was going to kill me."

The five suspects are 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.

Jurors were shown a video of an interview between Woodard and two Lufkin Police detectives. In the video, Woodard told detectives that after the first shot, he tried to leave. When Bennett grabbed his leg, he shot again and ran out of the house.

"It was happening so fast that I didn't mean to shoot him the first time," Woodard said in the video.

Later in the video, Woodard explained why he didn't leave immediately after the first shot was fired. He said since he was already "in here," he might as well go ahead and get what he came for in the first place.

After shooting the victim a second time, Woodard walked home, according to the video interview.

"Those mother f-----s left me. I don't know when they left," Woodard told the detectives when they asked about the other four suspects in the crime.

Dr. Tommy Brown, the forensic pathologist who performed the autopsy on Bennett's body, testified that the gun was likely fired from further than 20 feet away. He said that his tests determined that the cause of Bennett's death was either a gunshot wound to the chest or shoulder.

Another medical expert, Jennifer Moreno, tested items found at the scene for traces of DNA evidence. The forensic scientist said that the DNA on latex gloves found at the scene did not exclude Woodard's DNA. In addition, no DNA was found on the pistol used to shoot Bennett.

Later, Ron Stubblefield, a detective with the Lufkin Police Department, explained pictures of the crime scene to jurors. Pictures of the crime scene showed the kitchen area with marijuana on the counter top, sink, and floor. A wooden box with stacks of money inside was also found.

Stubblefield testified that from their investigation, they determined that Jacob Woodard was the only suspect to enter the house.

The trial is expected to end Friday.

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