HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A Houston jury has returned a guilty verdict in the capital murder trial of Larry Woodruffe, who was tried in the killing of 7-year-old Jazmine Barnes during a drive-by shooting in 2018.
Woodruffe was then given an automatic life sentence without parole.
Jurors took just five and a half hours Friday to reach a decision on Woodruffe's fate. Earlier in the day, both sides presented closing arguments in the high-profile case following a week of emotional testimony.
On Friday, jurors were shown Jazmine's bullet wound in her neck that she suffered in the December 2018 shooting on the East Beltway feeder.
The central issue that Woodruffe's attorneys posed to jurors: investigators spent little time deeply pursuing the "white man in the red pickup" description given by Jazmine's sisters in the immediate aftermath. They contend tips motivated by civil rights influencers pushed police into switching gears.
SEE MORE: Sheriff releases sketch of suspect in killing of 7-year-old Jazmine Barnes (from 2019)
The defense also tried to paint Woodruffe's friend, Eric Black, as an "untrustworthy drug dealer." Black, whom investigators say was behind the wheel of the car believed to be involved in the shooting, testified against his friend this week.
However, prosecutors turned to DNA evidence as a central piece of their case, saying Woodruffe's DNA matched samples found on the murder weapon, as well as on bullet fragments found where Jazmine died in the drive-by shooting.
The state acknowledged the conflicting "white man in the red pickup" description but insisted the white man in a red pickup truck who the sisters saw just happened to be passing by at the same time of the shooting.
Most striking in the prosecution's closing was the far-reaching consequences being made by the jurors' decision when it comes to crimes against children.
The Woodruffe trial jury would send a message that law and order will be restored with a conviction, prosecutors posed.