A Texas man, Van Brisbon, has been charged with murder–which could be upgraded to capital murder–after allegedly killing his girlfriend’s teen daughter, Lauren Juma.
According to KHOU, Brisbon was charged during his first court appearance on May 2, and his bond was increased from $1 million to $2 million, and he is being held in Harris County Jail.
The 60-year-old man was accused of fatally shooting Juma after surrendering to police officers at the scene of the incident.
The 16-year-old was reportedly gunned down at the 20400 block of Canton Trace near FM 1960 and Lee Rd. as she was held captive at the residence. Harris County Precinct 4 deputy constables responded to a weapons disturbance after the teen’s sister called saying her mother’s boyfriend was holding her sister hostage inside their home on Apr. 29.
“She just wanted to get away. That’s all she wanted,” Keryca Harmon said. “She just said he was being really weird and wanted me to pick her up…I was there for three minutes before I heard two gunshots go off, and I could just remember running up to the house and officers telling me to go back to my car,” Harmon said.
The reports also said that they heard a gunshot, screaming, and then a second gunshot when the deputies arrived.
Then, deputies said Brisbon stepped out of the home and told them, “Do what you have to do.”
Prosecutors in his case told a probable cause court judge that authorities even saw the man pulling his pants up as he walked outside. They also claimed Juma’s pants were down. Investigators requested that a sexual assault test be performed on her due to evidence at the scene, which indicated that she might have been raped before being shot and killed.
The 16-year-old’s mother claimed she spoke to her daughter on the phone before Juma was murdered. She was allegedly out of town at work when the incident occurred but has since returned.
“I just know my baby called me on the phone … Facetimed me … and she said ‘Mom, help me’ and she hung up the phone. That’s the last time I heard her voice,” Young said.
She also insinuated that she didn’t understand how her daughter could’ve been killed by her boyfriend, as she had been in a relationship with Brisbon for five years and claimed he treated her well.
“He treated Lauren like she was his baby,” Young added. “I don’t understand. He can rot in jail. He had no reason to take my baby’s life.”
On the evening of Juma’s death, friend and family came together to remember her as she had previously joined her school, Nimitz High School’s cheer squad.
The teen girl’s loved ones also created a GoFundMe page for her funeral expenses, but it closed after raising $21,056.