Jury finds Dorian Ray Woodard guilty of Arlington E-Z Mart store clerk’s murder


FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – A Tarrant County jury found Dorian Ray Woodard, 20, guilty of the 2021 murder of Jordan Hightower, a 31-year-old clerk at a south Arlington E-Z Mart.

Woodard received a sentence of life in prison, plus a $10,000 fine, for the crime.

Tarrant County Assistant Criminal District Attorneys Matt Rivers and Kyle Russo detailed for the jury what happened.

Jordan Hightower (courtesy: Hightower family)

“This is about a life lost,” Rivers said. “That is why we are here. This trial won’t bring him back.”

They said about 3:30 a.m. on January 17, 2021, Woodard went into the E-Z Mart south of Interstate-20 near Matlock and Bardin roads in Arlington. He walked through the store, shopping, then approached the counter after other customers left.

He pulled a handgun on Hightower, and shot him several times. Woodard tried to open the register but was unsuccessful. He gathered some merchandise, left the store and returned for more.

“This was a senseless act of violence,” Russo said.

Hightower was unconscious and on the floor behind the counter for more than an hour before someone called 911. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police said they received a tip through Crime Stoppers that Woodard told people he shot the victim and stole tobacco and snacks. That tipster and another were able to help police identify Woodard as the suspect in the surveillance video. Both also helped police determine that the suspect lived at his father’s apartment.

“He wanted a family and he wanted so many things, and [the suspect] needs to pay for what he did… people can’t just take people away like that and not have consequences,” Hightower’s wife, Kristin Reynolds told CBS 11 News at the time of his death.

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