Jury finds Lufkin man guilty of capital murder

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

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - An Angelina County jury has found a Lufkin man guilty in the Februaryshooting death of another man.

Jacob Woodard, 19, receives an automatic life sentence for the capitalmurder conviction.

"We're gratified by the jury's verdict and happy that they found thedefendant 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 theFeb. 7 shooting death of Robert Darnell Bennett on California Boulevard. LufkinPolice detectives believe that the five men came to the house to rob Bennett ofmarijuana, 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 himand the shooting wasn't planned.

Prosecutor Katrina Carswell toldjurors, "Jacob Woodard didn't hesitate that night, he didn't hesitategoing into the house, pulling that trigger and looking for dope."

During an interview withdetectives, Woodard said he was there for marijuana and the two shots he firedwere accidental.

"It was happening so fastthat I didn't mean to shoot him the first time," Woodard said on a video of theinterview that was shown to the jurors Thursday.

The four co-defendants have notyet faced a jury. One of them, Jesus Vela, testified against Woodard. Of thefive men involved, Woodard was the only one to enter the house, but prosecutorssay everyone played a role in the murder and all are charged with capitalmurder.

"There are others whose trialsare pending, but everybody's responsibility has to be judged according to theirrole in the crime," Bauereiss said.

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