A jury has found Andre Montrel Woods guilty of murder in the death of Ashleigh Elijah.
Woods, 23, was charged with murder after he shot Elijah twice on May 18, 2018. Lufkin Police arrested Woods hours after the shooting.
The jury’s decision came after about 20 minutes of deliberations in state District Judge Paul White’s courtroom. The case will now move into the punishment phase, which will begin Tuesday. Woods elected to allow the jury to determine his punishment.
Before the jury’s deliberations, Woods’ attorneys John Reeves and Carter Meyers called Lufkin Police Detective Starlan Glawson and Officer Lee Jowell to testify, then called upon Woods’ mother, Lisa Woods, to go over her perspective of the day’s events and her son’s upbringing.
In her closing argument, assistant District Attorney Sandra Martin pointed toward the evidence the state presented for the jury’s consideration. Surveillance footage of the shooting was played during the trial, along with jail calls Woods made in which he talked about the shooting.
“This young woman, she experienced carrying a child,” Martin said. “She would not get married, she would not come back to her mother’s house. All these things we take for granted, she couldn’t experience because he (Woods) got mad.
“Three days later, he was laughing about it in jail.”
Reeves pointed toward escalating tension between Woods and Eijah, as well as an incident the day before the shooting wherein Elijah had a bat and wanted to hit Woods.
“However you want to interpret it, Mr. Woods is threatened the day before,” Reeves said.
Dies countered by saying Woods’ actions were not warranted regardless of what had occurred prior to the shooting.
“No drama gives rise to death,” Dies said. “Perhaps there should be a list of words at the home of Mr. Andre Woods that says words or drama you better not repeat here or else you’ll be shot?”