PAPD charges jailed shooting suspect with murder in second crime

Published 7:12 pm Sunday, July 19, 2015

A man already jailed in the Jefferson County Correctional Facility for allegedly shooting a Port Arthur man in the face July 16 was charged with murder for a second, unrelated crime Sunday afternoon.

Marcelo Molfino, assistant chief of the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office Investigation Division, said Jose Esquivel, 23, was charged with first-degree murder for the shooting death of Denzel Jervon Washington, a 25-year-old Port Arthur man found in his car early Thursday morning with severe head trauma.

Washington was found unresponsive, with multiple gunshot wounds, in a white Buick Regal near the intersection of 15th Street and Sixth Avenue around 6:30 a.m. July 16. Jefferson County Justice of the Peace for Precinct 7 Brad Burnett told the News the car was still in the traffic lane at 3400 15th St., as if it had been driving down the road.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Maj. Raymond Clark with the Port Arthur Police Department said Esquivel made a statement regarding the murder while he was in jail for a different, non-fatal shooting.

Esquivel has been in the Jefferson County Courthouse since July 16 for a shooting, which PAPD officers say occurred around 1:30 a.m. Thursday, that left Port Arthur resident Jafer A. Hill, 37, with a single gunshot wound to his face. A Thursday police statement said the bullet entered Hill’s face and came to rest in his neck. Hill was first taken to Christus Hospital- St. Mary, where he was stabilized and then transferred to Christus Hospital-St. Elizabeth in Beaumont for further treatment.

Esquivel was arrested for that shooting Thursday morning, but he evaded officers while in handcuffs and briefly escaped. An officer with the Port Arthur Police Department said Esquivel was lawfully detained while officers were investigating the aggravated assault of Hill, but he escaped from the back of a patrol car. Police recaptured Esquivel around 9 a.m. Thursday in the 900 block of Pecos.

Molfino said Esquivel could not have directly contributed to the shootings reported Friday along DeQueen Boulevard or 15th Street, although PAPD officers did suspect Esquivel’s actions early Thursday were drug related.

Twitter: @crhenderson90