Mother of slain Port Arthur woman seeks answers 4 years later

Published 12:20 am Thursday, October 19, 2023

It has taken a while for Jermel Newman to get accustomed to the quiet of her apartment.

Prior to Oct. 20, 2019, Newman’s apartment was filled with noise, laughter and music, but that was taken away with the killing of her daughter, Jasmine.

“When you’re used to noise in the house … and now nothing. When you get home, it’s quiet,” Jermel Newman said. “I did get used to it. It really irks my nerves. I have to get some noise in here. It took a while.”

Jermel Newman is having a pillow made with these images of her daughter, Jasmine Newman, in childhood. Jasmine was killed Oct. 20, 2019, and her killer remains unknown. (Courtesy photo)

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Jasmine Newman was one day shy of her 23rd birthday when a gunman shot into a crowd of people at a party outside a home in the 1100 block of Vicksburg. Three other people were injured, but Jasmine was shot multiple times and died as a result of the injuries.

Newman believes Jasmine ducked down when the bullets began to fly and was shot in the back. Jasmine must have put her head up at some pint and that’s when she was shot in the head, her mother said.

Port Arthur police said Jasmine — the mother of two young children — was an innocent bystander killed in a cowardly act of violence.

And now, four years later, there is no closure for the Newman family because her killer has not been brought to justice.

Newman can remember a time before she knew this type of grief.

“A long time ago I’d see stuff going on in the world, people getting killed in Chicago, Boston,” she said. “And now right here in Port Arthur, my only baby killed for no reason. I can’t swallow it.”

Jasmine would have been 27 years old Oct. 21. She had no criminal background, was not affiliated with any gangs nor was any of the others at the party.

Her children, who were ages 2 years old and 4 months old, are both in school and doing fine.

But Jasmine’s mother is not fine.

As the anniversary of Jasmine’s death rolls around, Newman replays the night and how she learned of her daughter’s death from one of Jasmine’s friends.

“I replay someone knocking on the door, telling me my baby is gone. It’s crazy, I don’t get it,” she said.

Newman hopes for the day there is an arrest in the case.

“I can’t wait for that day to come, when the detective calls me and tells me ‘we got him,’” she said.

For her, the person who killed her daughter is without conscience but should know what they did and should turn himself or herself in to law enforcement.

She calls this person the devil because of what he did.

People with information about this crime can call Port Arthur Police Department at 409-983-8600 or Crime Stoppers of Southeast Texas at 409-833-TIPS or by downloading the P3 Tips app on a smart phone. Tips are anonymous and could be eligible for a cash reward.