Houston murder suspect out on 8 felony bonds at the time; victim leaves behind two young sons

HOUSTON – Charges have been filed against two suspects arrested in the fatal shooting of a man during a May home invasion, and KPRC 2 has learned that one of the suspects -- Qiriathiam Phillips -- was out on eight felony bonds at the time of the victim’s murder.

Phillips and Consetta Rao are charged with murder in the 339th State District Court. Rao is also charged with “felon in possession of a weapon.” Rao was taken into custody on Thursday while Phillips was already in the Harris County Jail on three unrelated felony charges, according to the Houston Police Department.

The victim, Tevin Watson, 29, is the 127th person killed in Harris County in the last few years by someone out on multiple felony bonds, according to Crimestoppers of Houston.

“This is the second time in July that we are talking about a defendant who is charged with more than seven felony bonds, charged with murder,” said victim advocate Andy Kahan.

“It simply defies logic to have defendants out on five, six, seven, eight bonds,” he added. “It’s a threat to public safety and guess what? You’re not doing them any favors either.”

In the middle of the day Tuesday, May 25th, police say Phillips and Rao knocked on Watson’s first-floor apartment door in the 9500 block of Woodfair drive in Southwest Houston.

They forced their way into the apartment, separated Watson from his sons -- ages 7 and 11 -- and, after an argument, shot him and fled the scene, police said.

Watson was transported to an area hospital where he was pronounced deceased. His sons were not harmed in the incident.

Investigators later identified Phillips and Rao as the suspects in the case.

Court documents show Phillips has been charged over the years with at least 19 felonies, 18 in Harris County and 1 in Fort Bend County.

He was convicted five times and served two prison sentences, two years each.

At the time of the homicide, Phillips was out on eight felony bonds, seven in Harris County and 1 in Fort Bend County, including felon in possession of a weapon and aggravated assault.

A bail reform bill passed the Texas senate this week, for the first time with bipartisan support. Among other things, the bill would give judges more leeway to revoke bond for repeat felony offenders.

About the Authors:

Award-winning journalist, mother, YouTuber, social media guru, millennial, mentor, storyteller, University of Houston alumna and Houston-native.

Daniela Sternitzky-Di Napoli has been a digital news editor at KPRC 2 since 2018. She is a published poet and has background in creative writing and journalism. Daniela has covered events like Hurricane Harvey and the Astros World Series win. In her spare time, Daniela is an avid reader and loves to spend time with her two miniature dachshunds.