Newly tested DNA evidence led to the re-arrest of a man accused of fatally stabbing an 11-year-old Houston boy as he walked home from school in 2016, authorities said Tuesday.
Andre Timothy Jackson Jr. was indicted by a grand jury in Houston in the death of Josue Flores.
The sixth-grader was killed as he walked home from a science club meeting at Marshall Middle School just north of downtown Houston on May 17, 2016. Authorities say the boy was stabbed at least 20 times.
After his indictment on Tuesday, Jackson, 30, was arrested by Houston police officers, who had him under surveillance for several days.
At a news conference, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg declined to discuss the recently tested DNA evidence, only saying it had been sent to a lab in Florida.
Authorities said the DNA evidence that was tested matched Josue.
In court documents filed earlier this month, attorneys for Houston police said clothing previously seized from Jackson continued to be needed as evidence.
Jackson had been charged with murder weeks after Josue’s killing. But prosecutors dropped the charge in 2017, saying there wasn’t enough evidence to try him or uphold a conviction.
“We now believe we can bring justice to Josue’s family,” Ogg said.
Jackson was set to appear in court on Wednesday.
An attorney who had represented Jackson when he was first arrested didn’t immediately return a phone call seeking comment Tuesday.
In a YouTube video issued last month following a police news conference held on the third anniversary of Josue’s killing, Jackson proclaimed his innocence and criticized police for continuing to name him a suspect in the case.
Jackson called the police news conference in May a “publicity stunt” and “a form of harassment.”
“I am not Josue’s killer. I am not a killer,” he said.
Houston Executive Assistant Police Chief Troy Finner said Tuesday that Jackson always remained a suspect for investigators.
Jackson, a Marine Corps veteran, had been living at a Salvation Army shelter when he was first arrested in 2016. Finner said officers on Tuesday took him into custody during a traffic stop in Baytown, a Houston suburb where he now resides.
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said he and Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo visited with Josue’s family last week to let them know about the new developments in the case.
“We cannot bring back Josue, but we can bring justice in his memory and protect other children in our community,” Turner said.
Jackson wasn’t the first person charged in the case.
A 31-year-old man with a long criminal history had been charged days after the killing, but that charge was dropped when detectives found evidence to support his alibi.