Houston, TX – Police have arrested a man for murder who claimed that his common-law wife had shot herself during an argument after their three-year-old daughter told police that “daddy shot mommy.”
The incident occurred shortly before 11 p.m. on Nov. 22 in an apartment located in the 6200-block of San Houston Parkway, KTRK reported.
The Harris County Sheriff’s Office said that when deputies arrived at the residence, they found 24-year-old Kimberly Hernandez dead from a gunshot wound.
Her common-law husband, 27-year-old Dabreon Banks, at first told police that he and Hernandez were “play fighting” when the gun accidentally went off, KTRK reported.
But sheriff’s deputies found text messages on Banks’ cell phone that that led investigators to believe the couple had a physical altercation before the shooting.
Banks appeared in court for his arraignment on Wednesday, KTRK reported.
Prosecutors described to the judge how Banks had shot Hernandez in the head while the couple’s 10-month-old and three-month-old children watched.
The three-year-old daughter was able to tell sheriff’s deputies what had happened to her mother, KTRK reported.
“Officers spoke with a juvenile eyewitness who told officers that, ‘Dad shot mom.’ She gestured with her hand as a pistol. Officers spoke to another witness who stated that that same child told her, ‘Daddy shot mommy,'” prosecutors said in court.
Neighbors told investigators that they had heard screaming coming from the couple’s apartment at least once a week, KTRK reported.
And deputies responded to the address for a domestic disturbance in October but Hernandez refused to prosecute for domestic violence Banks at that time.
Hernandez’s father told reporters that his daughter had a bright future and was about to graduate from nursing school when she was killed, KTRK reported.
“She would always laugh, always happy,” the father said and showed off his daughter’s high school graduation picture.
He said Hernandez and Banks had been having problems, KTRK reported.
“She was having problems with him,” Hernandez’s father recalled sadly. “But she would always go back to him.”
He said that her family had asked Hernandez to move back home and bring the children, KTRK reported.
“She was just here on Monday. She was playing with the kids,” he said. “They called us in the middle of the night to tell us she was dead.”
Neither of Hernandez’s children were injured in the attack on their mother, KTRK reported.
Now Hernandez’s father and his wife are raising their two very-young grandchildren.
Officials said that when Banks murdered Hernandez, he was on deferred adjudication from two other unrelated charges in two different counties, KTRK reported.
Deferred adjudication is a plea deal that allows a defendant to avoid a formal conviction by pleading “guilty” or “no contest” and then fulfilling certain requirements ordered by the court in exchange for having the case dismissed.
Banks was arrested and charged with Hernadez’s murder, KTRK reported.
He was held at the Harris County jail in lieu of a $75,000 bond.