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Judge finds no probable cause against suspect in slaying of disabled Cypress woman

CYPRESS, Texas – A judge said Tuesday he could not find probable cause in the case brought against an 18-year-old charged with murder in connection with the weekend slaying of a disabled Cypress woman.

Emma Presler, 18, had been charged with murder in connection with the shooting death of 20-year-old Sierra Rhodd, who investigators said was hit by shots fired into her Timber Crest Drive home during a drive-by shooting.

Authorities said the shooting may have been retaliation against the victim’s 15-year-old brother as part of an ongoing feud with several individuals.

RELATED: Woman with disability fatally shot while sleeping in bed in NW Harris County, deputies say

Investigators said they spoke with the victim’s parents and her 15-year-old brother, who said they were home watching television when someone began shooting into their home. Deputies learned that the victim’s 15-year-old brother discharged a handgun at the suspects as they were fleeing. Investigators said Sierra Rhodd, who had cerebral palsy, was in her bed at the time of the shooting.

After looking at nearby surveillance video, deputies saw three vehicles, a dark-colored sedan, a motorcycle and a truck traveling westbound towards the victim’s home prior to the shooting. According to investigators, neighbors reported seeing a dark-colored sedan and a red pickup truck fleeing the scene immediately after the shooting.

RELATED: ‘I hope she gets the death penalty’: Family of 20-year-old shooting victim distraught

At a hearing Tuesday, prosecutors said that the red truck and Presler’s location at the time of the shooting tie her to the scene. However, a judge said that while there is reasonable suspicion of Presler, there are no witnesses that tie Presler to the vehicle in question. He suggested prosecutors make their case to a grand jury and ordered no probable cause had been found.

Presler was also being held in jail on a previous credit card abuse case, according to the Harris County District Attorney’s Office. Once she posts bond on that charge she will be free to leave jail, per the DA’s office. But court officials said it is unclear if this will mean Presler will be released from jail. A decision on that will likely come Wednesday, officials said.

The investigation is ongoing and anyone with information is urged to call Crime Stoppers at 713-222- TIPS (8477) or the HCSO Homicide Unit at 713-221-6000.


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