Man sentenced to life for capital murder of Arlington store clerk, officials say

A Tarrant County jury found 20-year-old Dorian Ray Woodard guilty of capital murder in the death of 31-year-old Jordan Hightower.

TARRANT COUNTY, Texas — Editor’s note: The above video previously aired following Woodard’s arrest. 

A man convicted in the 2021 shooting death of an Arlington convenience store clerk has been sentenced to life in prison, the Tarrant County Criminal District Attorney’s Office announced Monday. 

A Tarrant County jury found 20-year-old Dorian Ray Woodard guilty of capital murder in the death of 31-year-old Jordan Hightower.

Around 3:30 a.m. Jan. 17, 2021, Woodard went inside the E-Z Mart south of Interstate 20 near Matlock and Bardin roads in Arlington and surveillance video caught the moments leading up to Hightower’s death, according to court records. 

Authorities said Woodard grabbed items from inside the store and walked up to the register where Hightower began to ring them up. Woodard reportedly waited until no other customers were in the store before he took out a gun and pointed it at Hightower.

Police said Woodard demanded that Hightower open the register and then shot him multiple times. Due to his injuries, police said Hightower was unable to open the register and Woodard shot Hightower one more time.

Then, Woodard tried to open the register himself, but he was unsuccessful, officials said.

Court documents state Woodard left the store but returned and took several tobacco items and put them inside a backpack. He also grabbed the items Hightower had tried to ring up before he was shot.

“This was a senseless act of violence,” said Tarrant County Assistant Criminal District Attorney Kyle Russo, who along with Tarrant County Assistant Criminal DA Matt Rivers, presented the case to the jury.

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

Woodard, who was 18 at the time of the shooting, was identified by surveillance footage and numerous tips.  

Hightower was a DFW native and following his death, his family told WFAA he “had a huge heart.”

In court Monday ahead of Woodard’s conviction and sentencing, ADA Rivers told the jury, “I’m asking you to do the right thing by [Jordan Hightower’s] family.”

“This family needs justice,” Rivers said. “Just do the right thing.”

After the jury found Woodard guilty Monday, he received a sentence of life in prison, plus a $10,000 fine.  

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