A Texas man is behind bars after authorities used Google Maps to locate a vehicle used to run over and kill a man at a party. On Tuesday, a grand jury determined authorities presented enough evidence in the case for it to move forward to an indictment against the suspect.
Beaumont Enterprise reports that Raul Najera, 25, (pictured right) allegedly ran over partygoer, Ray Jasso, 28, (pictured left) off of the 8200 block of Emerald Court in New Caney, in July, after the suspect was told to leave a birthday party. As Najera backed his Chevrolet SUV out of the home’s driveway, he struck an exit gate as he pulled out, then slammed into Jasso, who stood in the middle of a cul de sac.
One of the guests at the party showed police a cellphone video she recorded, that caught the suspect in action. It showed Najera’s SUV with its headlights on, pointed directly at the victim as he lied on the ground. According to detectives, Najera then dragged the victim with his SUV as he drove away. Jasso was later pronounced dead at a local hospital.
The guests apparently didn’t know or provide information on the driver, but detectives said he drove a late 2000s model SUV, and took down the license plate after viewing the video. With that, they ran the license plate information through a national database, and discovered that the SUV belonged to someone off of Frisco Street in Houston. Detectives opened Google Maps online and searched for the SUV via street view, and sure enough, they saw the vehicle sitting in the driveway of a home off of the 600 block of Frisco Street.
Authorities showed up at the home and noticed the same SUV in the driveway with its license plate removed. They also noticed damage on the vehicle’s front end and “biological evidence” that indicated the SUV struck Jasso. Detectives questioned a man at home, who told them Najera wasn’t there but that he was the primary person that drove the SUV. After searching the home, detectives found the same shirt the suspect wore on the night in question.
Detectives stated that Jasso was an innocent bystander who took his two young children to a teen’s birthday party when the incident happened. Apparently, Najera was involved in a fight with another adult partygoer when he was told to leave.
Police arrested Najera on July 5 and charged him with first-degree felony murder. He’s currently at the Montgomery County Jail on a $500,000 bond. Three other people were hit as Najera drove off, according to Click2Houston. They survived the incident with minor injuries. Najera had a friend in the passenger seat of his SUV when the incident occurred. Detectives questioned the friend but didn’t press charges.
[Feature Photo: Handout/Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department]