Jamaurea Jermaine Britton, 19, was taken into custody on Sept. 26 after he allegedly admitted to killing 18-year-old Deja Hood, according to an arrest affidavit obtained by CBS 19.
Britton allegedly told police that he flew into a “fit of rage” and hit the 18-year-old over the head, after she “playfully tugged on his ear” as she was helping him to move out of his apartment complex near the 6100 block of Hollytree Drive in Tyler, Texas.
According to the affidavit, a 1-year-old toddler that Hood was babysitting, was allegedly in another room when Britton carried out the egregious assault.
On Tuesday, Britton was reportedly arrested and charged with one count of murder and one count of terroristic threat of a family or household member after the Tyler Police Department found Hood’s body in a ravine behind Britton’s Hollytree Apartment Complex, Law & Crime noted. He is currently being held at the Smith County Jail on a bond of over $1 million.
The grisly discovery came hours after Lakeeta Jordan, Hood’s mother, notified authorities about her daughter’s disappearance. Hood was last seen Sept. 25 at around 5 p.m.
The concerned matriarch gave police Britton’s number, hoping that he would be able to provide more information about her daughter’s whereabouts.
Initially, when the Tyler Police Department contacted Britton, he told authorities that he picked Hood – a former classmate – up from her apartment after she agreed to help him move his belongings out of his Hollytree apartment. When he arrived at her house, the 18-year-old “walked out to his vehicle with a ‘baby’ in hand, along with a child seat,” the affidavit noted.
Britton, Hood and the 1-year-old child allegedly drove to a nearby Walmart to eat at Subway before returning back to his apartment to start the moving process.
After Hood put the young child down for a nap, she “walked out of the apartment to go speak with the driver of a black Chevrolet, Silverado,” according to Britton’s testimony in the affidavit. The 18-year-old allegedly returned, picked up the child and told Britton “she was going to leave.”
Per the affidavit, Britton called police to his home on Tuesday after Hood’s family “barged” into his apartment looking for the 18-year-old girl. When authorities entered the home, they arrived to find the word “LOSER” spray-painted on the wall of his entryway. The 19-year-old suspect told authorities that his ex-girlfriend had previously spray-painted the bizarre artwork, Law & Crime noted.
After investigating the apartment, authorities found black spray paint marks on the carpet. In one mark, they noticed a red substance “similar to a saturated blood spot.” Britton claimed that his dog’s bloody nose was responsible for the stain, but authorities were not buying the shady testimony.
Minutes later, police walked around to the ravine to find Hood’s body wrapped in plastic underneath a black sheet north of the apartment complex.
Britton told the Tyler Police Department a different story when they interviewed him at the police department.
During an interview at the police station, Britton admitted to hitting Hood over the head with “a bottle of Stella Rose” after he began thinking about his ex-girlfriend and their recent breakup.
Hood’s playful tug on the ear reminded him of something his ex-girlfriend used to do.
Filled with anger and rage, Britton picked up the glass bottle, approached Hood from behind and smashed the bottle against the back of her head. When she fell to the ground, he knelt over her body and “punched her one time in the face with his closed fist. He then claimed to have put his hands around Hood’s throat and began to ‘strangle’ her. Britton then admitted to reaching over and grabbing a hammer that was nearby and striking Hood in the head over and over until the wooden handle broke,” the affidavit stated.
Britton allegedly tried to kill himself twice after he carried out the alleged attack.
When he failed to take his own life, the 19-year-old suspect drove the 1-year-old child Hood was babysitting to Jordan’s apartment. When he returned home, he found Hood still alive, shouting his name. According to the affidavit, Britton stabbed the teen multiple times and wrapped the body in a trash bag before tossing her corpse in the ravine.
Friends of Hood said she had positive energy and a kind heart.
During an interview with CBS 19 Sept. 28, friends of Hood said they were shocked when news of the 18-year-old’s tragic death flooded the media.
“My heart dropped because it was so unexpected,” Lamonica Hull told the outlet. “She was always smiling, happy, she had great energy… she was very talented.”
Hood recently graduated from Tyler High School and had big plans to attend college.
“She was working hard to leave, to get a car,” her close friend Maurese Johnson said.
Hull claimed that Hood went to Britton’s apartment Tuesday because she wanted to “comfort him.”
“He didn’t have nobody to talk to about things,” she added.
According to her friends, on Sept. 24, Hood posted a picture of the caption “Unforgettable” on Instagram shortly before her disappearance Monday. Tamonica Hull told CBS 19 that it was eerie looking back on the chilling post.
“I feel like maybe her spirit kind of knew that she was going to go before her actual body. You could put somebody in jail all day long, but you can’t bring nobody back,” Tamonica said.
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