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Arrest made in connection to 2018 murder of veteran Brandon Cornelius

The arrest was made by the SAPD with help from the Houston Police Department.

SAN ANTONIO — Police have arrested Jamarque Washington, 21, for the June 2018 murder of veteran Brandon Cornelius, 26. 

According to an arrest affidavit, Washington was arrested last week on September 26, after Washington's DNA was found on the door handle of the car Cornelius was shot in.

On June 23, 2018, just before 1:30 a.m., Alexandra Pronto called the San Antonio Police Department after her boyfriend had been shot by an unknown person in the 4000 block of N. Loop 1604 W. 

When officers arrived at the scene, they spoke with Alexandra and Charles Pronto. 

Both told police that Brandon had been sitting in the front passenger seat of Alexandra's car with them. 

The group was preparing to leave for the night when the front passenger door was pulled open and several shots were fired at Brandon. 

Alexandra, who was sitting behind Brandon, told police that all of the doors were closed and "suddenly the interior doom light illuminated" as someone from outside of her car had opened Brandon's door and proceeded to shoot him. 

Cornelius was taken to a nearby hospital where he later died from multiple gunshot wounds.

While Alexandra stated that she had only seen one person, Charles told police that he had possibly seen two men. 

Crime scene investigators collected several shell casings from the scene as evidence, according to the affidavit, and an analysis of the casings indicated two firearms were fired at the scene. 

Along with the ballistic evidence, DBA swabs were also collected from the car, in particular, from the outside handle of the passenger door. 

The swabs were submitted for testing, while the shell casings were submitted to a national ballistic database. 

In July of 2018, investigators received a hit from the recovered shell casings. According to the affidavit, the casings matched evidence collected in a shooting in Houston on June 2, 2018.

In the police report for the Houston shooting, police had named Jamarque Washington as the suspected shooter. 

After being involved in a car accident in San Antonio on August 7, 2019, SAPD applied for and was granted a search warrant for a DNA sample of Jamarque Washington.

Despite denying any involvement in the shooting of Brandon, Washington's DNA was submitted for comparison to the DNA collected from the outside door handle of Alexandra's car. 

On September 25, the results of the DNA comparison were received by investigators. The Bexar County Crime Lab determined that Washington "could not be excluded as a contributor of the DNA collected from the front passenger side door handle." 

On September 26, Jamarque Washington was taken into custody and arrested for the murder of Brandon Cornelius. 

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