HARRIS COUNTY, Texas (KTRK) — A $1 million bail has been set for the 25-year-old father charged with murder in the death of his 2-year-old daughter.
Deontray Flanagan, who allegedly picked up his daughter from a day care center and then led police in a chase turned standoff in northwest Harris County, will face a manslaughter charge in the death of the 2-year-old girl years, authorities said.
Flanagan was taken into custody on Monday after being surrounded by a SWAT team.
The 25-year-old was not present in the courtroom on Tuesday, but his charges were read. In court, the district attorney asked for $5 million bond and Flanagan’s attorney asked for $40,000. Eventually, a judge set her bail at $1 million.
Relatives identified the 2-year-old as Zevaya Flanagan.
The father reportedly told investigators the little girl sustained her injuries from being tossed about during the chase, but sources tell ABC13 she suffered a serious head injury. Additionally, there were reports that she was allegedly strangled during the chase. The autopsy will determine exactly how she died.
It all started around 10:15 a.m. Monday when Flanagan went to a private day care center and picked up his daughter, Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said.
Flanagan then walked into a nearby Walmart, where the boy’s mother works, and confronted her, demanding her phone and passcode and threatening to hurt the boy, the HCSO said. The mother complied and tried to save her daughter, but she failed, according to Gonzalez. The suspect allegedly hit the mother multiple times in the face and she walked off with her phone before driving off in a red Camaro, prompting a chase with deputies.
Deputies said at one point during the chase, the mum managed to FaceTime the suspect to try to stop him, but failed.
The chase ended after Flanagan reportedly crashed into other cars and stopped in a field at St. Dunstan’s Episcopal Church near the Stuebner Airline and Veterans Memorial, resulting in a stalemate.
SWAT officers surrounded the vehicle and, after approximately 20 minutes, entered. The child was taken from the car by authorities and Flanagan was pulled out to be taken into custody.
Once the father was arrested, officials tried to save the 2-year-old girl’s life. She was taken to the hospital via Life Flight, where she was pronounced dead of her injuries.
“As a father, as just a human being, for anyone to use a child, a precious helpless child, just 2 years old. It broke my heart to see her hurt,” Gonzalez said.
The Harris County Sheriff’s Office said they are also conducting an internal investigation to determine whether policies and procedures were followed in a previous incident, which the 2-year-old’s family say could have prevented it.
On March 15, the deputies responded to Zevaya’s home, where Flanagan allegedly made a terrorist threat. After taking the mother’s statement, deputies consulted with the Harris County District Attorney’s office and it was determined that there was insufficient evidence to file charges against him.
Flanagan’s criminal history also dates back to 2017.
According to court documents, he was charged with evading arrest nearly six years ago.
In 2018, Flanagan was charged with assault causing bodily harm to a family member and sentenced to 30 days in jail. That same year, he was also charged with felony damages for driving a car into someone’s house. Records show he’s still on probation on that charge.