Girl dies after stalking: Father Deontrey Flanagan is expected to appear in court Wednesday after posting $1 million bail for Zephia Flanagan’s death
Harris County, Texas (KTRK) – The man charged with murder in the death of his 2-year-old daughter after Monday’s stalking and SWAT encounter is expected to appear in court for the first time on Wednesday.
Bond was set at $1 million for 25-year-old Deontray Flanagan on Tuesday, though the suspect has yet to appear in court for probable cause.
The two-year-old’s family told ABC13 they had concerns about their safety for several days before the confrontation unfolded.
On Monday, at about 10:15 a.m., Flanagan allegedly took his daughter from foster care and led police on a chase that turned into a confrontation in northwest Harris County.
Haunted by her daughter’s last surviving moments, ABC13 spoke to the mother of 2-year-old Zephia Flanagan, who she witnessed on FaceTime during a police chase.
“She was on his lap, she was gasping for air, and he had his arm around her neck squeezing harder,” remembers Zivaya’s mother, Carsten Watson. He said, ‘That’s what you made me do. All you care about is that guy. I (was) telling him, ‘No, stop, please.’ that is your daughter. She loves you,” and he still does.
Read more: A mother of her two-year-old daughter who was allegedly killed by her father says the police failed her
The chase ended after Flanagan reportedly hit other cars and stopped in a field at St. Dunstan’s Episcopal Church near Stuebner Airline and the Veterans Memorial, which led to a confrontation. Special Forces officers surrounded the vehicle, and about 20 minutes later, the Harris County Sheriff’s Office said they moved into the home. The little girl was hastily removed from the car by the authorities and taken to the hospital, where she later died.
According to the charge documents, Flanagan struck his daughter with a blunt object and also beat and strangled her to death.
The little girl’s aunt was puzzled as to what the two-year-old might be feeling in her final moments.
Maybe she was just thinking, Why? Cassie Watson said, like, Dad, what have you done? “And she hasn’t done anything. She hasn’t done anything but love him and be a joy to the world, and he’s just such an evil person.”
Watson is frustrated that the officials are waiting to move in when she says every second counts.
“I say to the officers, ‘Look at that FaceTime,’” Watson said. Move over. Move over.” “They just sat there and said they have to get everyone ready, they have to put on their armor and all this extra stuff like he didn’t kill her on that FaceTime call. They waited at least 20 minutes to move.”
The Harris County Sheriff’s Office said they are also conducting an internal investigation to determine whether policies and procedures were followed.
In a statement, they said in part:
“The investigation will include a comprehensive review of the schedule, camera footage, transmission communications, and radio traffic. Both the HCSO and the Houston Police Department responded to the scene. Both agencies coordinate regularly and this review is being conducted to assess all actions taken and to improve future cooperation.”
However, this is just the beginning of Watson’s frustration, saying that she feels let down by the police which led to her daughter’s death. She said she called the police several times just days before the murder, fearing this might happen. Watson added that she and Flanagan recently broke up.
According to the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, they have responded to at least two calls to service at the mother’s home. On March 15, they responded to a terrorist threat, and on March 19, they responded to telephone harassment.
“I told them over and over again that something was going to be wrong,” said Watson. “They could have at least tried to find him, but even with his past, no. I said, ‘Are you going to wait until something happens to her?’”
ORIGINAL REPORT: 2-year-old girl dies after father removes her from daycare, assaults her mother before stalking, deputies say
According to the sheriff’s office, the responding deputy consulted with the Harris County District Attorney’s Office, and it was determined that there was insufficient evidence to support the filing of a criminal charge at the time. A well-being check was also carried out in an attempt to locate Flanagan, but all attempts to find him were unsuccessful.
However, Watson said she had text messages that prove Flanagan threatened to harm their daughter and believes the officers ignored her concerns.
“They didn’t believe me,” said Watson. “They thought I was just making this up, and it was the father.”
Flanagan’s criminal history dates back to 2017. According to court records, he has been accused of evading arrest for nearly six years.
In 2018, Flanagan was charged with assault and causing bodily injury to a family member and was sentenced to 30 days in jail. During the same year, he was also charged with criminal mischief for driving a car into someone’s house. Records show he is still on probation for the charge.
a GoFundMe To help the family with funeral expenses.