Father accused of choking 2-year-old daughter while on Facetime with mother, demanding mom’s cellphone password

Mother and her 2-year-old daughter who was killed. (KPRC 2)

HOUSTON – The man who took his daughter from a day care and then led police on a chase through northwest Harris County is accused of killing his baby girl while arguing with her mother over a cellphone, according to court documents.

Deontray Flanagan, 25, is currently charged with murder. He was taken into custody after a 30-mile chase on the North Freeway on Monday.

Initially, authorities said Flanagan told them that 2-year-old Zevaya Flanagan was injured due to her “jumping around the car” during the chase. But, according to court documents that were released more than 24 hours after his arrest, the child was struck “with or against a blunt object” and then choked.

Documents also said Flanagan was on Facetime with the girl’s mother, demanding the password to her cellphone, while he choked their child.

It was also confirmed in the court documents that Zevaya was not restrained in a car seat and Flanagan did not seek medical attention, which ultimately resulted in her death.

Flanagan is currently in the Harris County Jail where a judge has set his bail at $1 million.


The entire incident started around 10:15 a.m. on Monday after deputies responded to reports of a family disturbance on West FM 1960.

Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said Flanagan went to a private daycare and removed his daughter before driving to the mother’s job at a local Walmart. There, deputies said Flanagan confronted his child’s mother and demanded her cellphone while threatening to harm the toddler.

The mother complied, but Flanagan refused to hand over the child, and instead, hit the mother in the face several times before leaving the store in a red Camaro, prompting a police chase.

According to court documents, at some point during the chase, the mother was able to facetime Flanagan who then asked her to give him the password to her phone. When she refused, documents say Flanagan started hitting the child and choking her while still on Facetime with the mother.

After hanging up with the girl’s mother, court documents say Flanagan facetimed his stepfather and told him that his daughter “was gone.”

Once the chase finally came to a stop, after 45 minutes, SWAT officers surrounded the vehicle and arrested Flanagan.

Officers then located Zevaya, who they said was unconscious and unresponsive. The girl was transported to the hospital where she was pronounced dead.

Do you know someone in need of help? KPRC 2 has released the following series on “Breaking Free.”

About the Author: