HOUSTON (KIAH) — A man has been sentenced to life in prison for fatally stabbing an 11-year-old Houston boy as the child walked home from school in 2016.

Andre Timothy Jackson, 33, was sentenced Wednesday by state District Judge Denise Collins. On Tuesday, a jury found him guilty of murder in the death of Josue Flores.

Mugshot of Andre Jackson (Harris County District Attorney’s Office)

“This brutal murder of an innocent child in the middle of the day shook our entire community,” Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said in a statement. “People from all walks of life, including those who didn’t know Josue, have experienced a genuine loss because children are our future. We are proud of the prosecutors and police who worked hard over the past six long years to finally bring justice to the Flores family.”

Before being sentenced, the 33-year-old Jackson read a lengthy statement to Collins in which he continued to maintain his innocence and question the validity of the DNA evidence that helped convict him.

Authorities say the sixth grader was stabbed more than 20 times as he walked home from school in May 2016. He was walking home when a neighbor heard him pleading for his life, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors had told jurors the boy’s DNA was found on Jackson’s jacket, directly tying him to Josue’s death.

Josue Flores’ family exits the Harris County Criminal Courthouse following the guilty verdict against Andre Jackson, Tuesday, May 3, 2022, in Houston. Jackson was found guilty by the jury of fatally stabbing 11-year-old Josue Flores in 2016. (Godofredo A. Vásquez/Houston Chronicle via AP)

The jacket was taken to a Florida lab three years after it was originally tested following the murder, which was found inconclusive. Prosecutors said that the Florida lab has more advanced instruments and techniques that was able to determine that Flores’ DNA was present on the jacket.

Jackson was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorneys John Jordan and Chris Condon.

“The great result is finally – finally – we got justice,” Jordan said. “Not many times in this courthouse do we know the case by the name of the victim, and that’s a shame. But this case is known (as) the case of Josue Flores because he was 11 years old. This month he should be walking across a stage at graduation, and instead his killer got a life sentence.”

The Associated Press contributed to this story.