5 things for Houstonians to know for Friday, Jan. 7

George Floyd's 4-year-old niece recovering after she was shot on New Year's Day

Here are things to know for Friday, Jan. 7:

1. Mother of Maliyah Bass pleads guilty for role in 2-year-old’s death

The mother of Maliyah Bass, the 2-year-old whose body was found floating in Brays Bayou, has pleaded guilty for her involvement in her daughter’s death.

Sahara Ervin, who was photographed smiling in her mugshot when arrested more than a year ago, appeared before a judge Wednesday. The young mother pleaded guilty to tampering with evidence - a human corpse and injury to a child, according to court records.

According to court documents, as part of her plea agreement, Ervin will now testify against her boyfriend, Travion Thompson, for the role he played in the toddler’s death. If she follows through with the agreement, she will face up to 20 years in prison. If not, Ervin could face a life sentence.

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2. George Floyd’s sister speaks, says it took HPD 4 hours to respond after 4-year-old niece was shot

The Houston Emergency Center (HEC) announced Wednesday it will investigate the claim that it took officers four hours to respond to the shooting of George Floyd’s 4-year-old niece.

The investigation comes after Houston Police Department Chief Troy Finner released a statement on Tuesday, Jan. 4 about his officers’ response time.

According to the 4-year-old’s father, he called Houston police to report that his daughter had been shot at an apartment complex located at 3322 Yellowstone Boulevard around 3 a.m. on New Year’s Day. He said officers didn’t arrive at the apartment until 7 a.m.

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3. COVID surge delays test result turnaround time in Houston

Thousands of Houstonians are being tested daily at sites across the city of Houston.

Results for those tests can vary, however, city officials said folks should ideally be receiving their results within 24 to 48 hours.

KPRC 2 received several emails and Facebook comments claiming some people were waiting four to five days for results.

On Facebook, Maria Mendoza commented, “[I] went to a testing site on 12/27. Got an email on 1/5 with a link to see my results, and they were indeterminate.”

On the Houston Health Departments page, Sonia Tamez commented in-part, saying, “I went to one last week and still no result yet.”

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4. Former Houston Texans linebacker Shantee Orr pleads guilty in medical reimbursement scam, authorities say

Former Houston Texans linebacker Shantee Orr has pleaded guilty after being charged with taking part in a medical reimbursement scam, according to the Harris County District Attorney’s Office.

Orr is one of eight former NFL players, along with an athletic trainer, who allegedly took part in a $632,000 scheme to defraud an NFL player trust fund by submitting false claims for medical benefits.

“When former players cheat the system, they are stealing from their former teammates,” Ogg said. “We thank the Texas Department of Insurance for their partnership in uncovering this scam.”

Orr, 40, is a former linebacker who played with the Houston Texans from 2003-07, pleaded guilty Wednesday to the third-degree felony charge of securing the execution of a document, namely checks, by deception.

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5. Former UH, Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin hired as Houston Gamblers’ new head coach

The Houston Gamblers have hired their new football coach, and Houston football fans may recognize him.

The new USFL team announced they hired former University of Houston and Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin on Thursday.

The new league announced new head coaches for four of its eight franchises. Sumlin coached UH to a 35-17 record over four seasons, including a 13-1 season in 2011.

Following his stint with the Cougars, Sumlin was 51-26 in six seasons as Texas A&M’s football coach. In his most recent head-coaching stop, Sumlin was not quite as successful at Arizona, going 9-20 before being let go in the midst of a 12-game losing streak.

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