Testimony resumes in day 2 of trial for man accused of killing 11-year-old Josue Flores in 2016

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- We continue to follow the murder trial of Andre Jackson, who is accused of killing 11-year-old Josue Flores back in 2016.

As the trial got underway on Monday, the state told jurors that they would hear from people who knew only pieces of what happened the day Josue was stabbed to death, but eventually, all of those pieces would create a clear picture of exactly what took place.

During opening statements, defense attorneys denied Jackson killed Josue, and said authorities were in a rush to charge someone.

On the first day of the trial, jurors heard from several witnesses who knew Josue, and then several more people who gave police surveillance video that shows someone running from the crime scene. In total, 10 witnesses took the stand on the first day.

The jury is made up of five men and seven women.

MORE COVERAGE FROM TRIAL DAY 1: More than 10 witnesses asked to recall the stabbing of 11-year-old Josue Flores in 2016 on the stand
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There was drama in court before opening statements even began as the judge was asked to make a decision about a crucial piece of evidence -- a green jacket.



The first witness owns a Chevron station on North Main with his brother. In the days after Josue's death, they saw a news conference on TV showing a photo of the suspect in the murder case. He said his brother immediately recognized the man as someone who had been in their store using the ATM the morning of May 17, the day Josue was murdered. He recognized the distinctive green jacket he was seen wearing in the surveillance photo on TV.

The man said they immediately called the police and turned over the video. They also eventually turned over records from the ATM without being given a court order.

The defense argued that they should not have been able to freely hand over records from the machine that have people's personal information on it without a court order. During the back and forth between the prosecution, defense, witness, and judge, the jury was excused from the courtroom for about 15 minutes.

The records are said only to show a transaction ID number, partial card number, and whether the transaction was approved or denied.

In court, it has been said that the transaction is ultimately what gave police Andre Jackson's name to police.

The judge ruled that the records would be allowed in court with redactions.

Next, a Houston police officer and a former Texas Ranger took the stand back to back to discuss evidence turned over to the DPS lab for expedited testing. It was said to be a sealed box of the victim's clothing transferred from the HPD property room to the state's lab.

In August of 2021, according to his testimony, an HPD homicide division cold case detective went with federal agents to the crime scene. He said they walked the path that the suspect took and photographed it. He detailed the path followed where police found surveillance video of the man they determined to be the suspect.

The defense questioned why they did not follow the path that other witnesses told police they saw the suspect take.

"Are you investigating, or are you trying to build a case?" one of the defense attorneys asked the witness.

Another Houston police detective took the stand late morning. One of his primary roles was finding surveillance video, even though it was not his case.

The officer created a photo line-up on the day of the murder when police initially arrested and charged Che Calhoun with killing the 11-year-old. He was unclear if the line-up was ever used, but he found the surveillance video that corroborated Calhoun's alibi that got him cleared.

He testified that they started looking for surveillance video the following week, on Monday, May 23, 2016. That day, he spoke with a witness, who claimed he chased down the suspect after the brutal stabbing. The detective said the man got in his car and showed him the path he chased the killer. The detective said he looked at the video at a gas station along the route and saw the witness's van but did not see anyone that he was chasing after.

The HPD detective found 20 to 30 videos that showed relevant information about the case. Jurors were shown six videos in court on Tuesday that showed Josue in his last moments alive. The final video showed him walking alone with his backpack on. No one was seen following him at 4:39 p.m. He was two blocks away from where his life was eventually taken.

Jurors saw nine videos depicting a man believed to be the suspect headed away from the area where the murder happened. There was no video of the stabbing or in the immediate blocks surrounding it. They found a video showing the man in the 900 block of Henry Street looking at his hands and putting on a green jacket, which some witnesses said they saw the suspect with. Surveillance video captured the man traveling several blocks away. One camera looked at the lettering "Lymen" on the back of the jacket and the suspect's multi-colored shoes.

The detective said they were not able to find any video of the suspect prior to the fatal stabbing.

A visual operation specialist with the FBI created an exhibit that paired all of the surveillance videos to a map that tracked the path of Josue and the suspect. It was shown to jurors by the seventeenth witness.

A lieutenant in the Harris County District Attorney's Office Special Crimes Bureau took the stand to conclude the day. He was on the stand less than 10 minutes before the jury was excused for further discussion among the attorneys and the judge.

The defense believes investigative strategies were not properly documented to show how law enforcement was able to find Andre Jackson, who they arrested on June 3, 2016.

The witness on the stand produced a memo written on that day that the defense said they had never seen and prevented them from properly investigating the case. They called for a mistrial, but the judge denied the motion.

On Wednesday morning, before the jury entered the courtroom, the judge said she would further discuss possible sanctions for the document not being turned over to the defense before trial.

During the day, the founder of Safe Walk Home said she was told she had to put on a jacket to cover up the logo on her shirt, or she could not be in the courtroom. The logo is said to have upset Jackson, who told his attorneys, and they took it to the judge. The state agreed. The woman was upset and felt she was being discriminated against.

Prosecutors have indicated that citizen witnesses will take the stand on the third day of the trial.

Flores was stabbed 18 times, according to investigators who took the stand. He also had four slash wounds.

Surveillance video from 2016 showed Josue walking along the sidewalk moments before being attacked. He was just blocks away from his home.

Prosecutors say a green jacket carried by Jackson the day of the crime was later found in a room at the Salvation Army where Jackson was arrested, and blood found on the jacket was Josue's.

In opening statements, the defense attorneys questioned the DNA evidence used to link that blood to Jackson.

We expect the state to call more witnesses on Tuesday as prosecutors try to convince the jury that Jackson is responsible for the murder.

Among the people who took the stand Monday was one of the first officers at the scene, who said he and his partner were flagged down by several people in the area where the murder occurred and were told a boy had been stabbed.

He recalled to jurors seeing Josue lying face down in the grass with his backpack still on and bloodstains on his clothes. He flipped the child over and saw several stab wounds on his chest and neck. The officer described Josue as not being responsive and gasping for air but not seeing his chest move. He described the child's condition as "dire" when he arrived at the scene.

That officer did not turn on his body camera when they arrived at the scene, but his partner did. That video has not been shown in court.

Another person who took the stand was a crime scene investigator. Jurors were shown photos of the crime scene, including one depicting a pool of blood on the sidewalk of Fulton Street in front of a home. The investigator testified that it was 23 feet from the blood on the sidewalk to where the child was found in the grass. Photos showed his zip-up Marshall Middle School sweatshirt and his backpack right next to a second blood spot where the initial officer found him.

Jurors were shown the backpack with blood spots on it and a hooded sweatshirt in court.

Josue's body had 22 wounds, according to the pathologist who conducted his autopsy. He said the child had injuries to his chest, back, arms and legs. The doctor testified this his aorta and lungs were perforated, and his liver had a single stab wound.

Jurors were shown photos taken during the autopsy of the 4'10" boy, who weighed only 78 pounds.

According to the pathologist, the deepest wound to Josue's body was four inches. He said the child likely did not die immediately, but his death was also not prolonged.

The pathologist testified that the boy's injuries were consistent with a knife, possibly a pocket knife.

Josue's manner of death was ruled a homicide, and his cause of death was determined to be from multiple sharp force injuries.

The medical examiner's office collected fingernail scrapings to collect any of the assailant's DNA that may have been collected. However, he was not sure if testing the samples turned up any evidence.

A neighbor who witnessed the attack told ABC13 before the 11-year-old collapsed on the ground, he said, "I just want to go home. I want to go home."

RELATED: A 2017 Texas law offers money to help kids get to and from school safely. No districts have applied.
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The Josué Flores Act, a Texas fund designed to provide transportation for children in need, was established after an 11-year-old was murdered while walking home from school in 2016.



The neighbor flagged down other drivers to help Josue and then got into his car and started chasing after the man who stabbed him. Unfortunately, the man got away.

Based on witness tips, Houston police arrested a man the next day. However, he was released two days later after his alibi checked out.

Three weeks after that, HPD arrested Jackson.

A year later, charges against Jackson were dropped after DNA tests on his jacket came back inconclusive.

Jackson publicly proclaimed his innocence in social media postings.

"I'm just tired of hearing my name associated with this case," he said in a recorded video he posted to YouTube.

READ MORE: Josue Flores: Five years later and nobody has been tried for his murder
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May 17th marks five years since 11-year-old Josue Flores was murdered while walking home from school on Houston's north side. Pooja Lodhia is getting an up close look at the case, learning why no one has been tried yet, how Josue's death changed the neighborhood forever, and how his family is keeping his dream to study medicine alive.



Then, in 2019, Houston Police's Cold Case Unit took up the case.
The team re-tested Jackson's jacket using new, more sensitive technology and arrested him once again.

"I'm not a psychiatrist. I'm not a psychologist. I'm just going off what I feel as an investigator," Sgt. Richard Rodriguez said. "I think when he was out and about, everything just kind of came together at one time, and for whatever reason, he just snapped. Unfortunately, Josue was just at the wrong place at the wrong time, and he was just a truly helpless, innocent victim that he could have complete control over, which is what he did. He controlled him and took over and took away his life."

Jackson was indicted by a grand jury in 2019 and is now charged with murder for the second time.

The trial could take several days to wrap up.

SEE ALSO: Search for justice: Timeline of Josue Flores murder case
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How Josue Flores' brutal murder case has unfolded: TIMELINE

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