Kairsten Watson: Mother of Zevaya Marie Flanagan, 2, reveals how dad Deontray Flanagan strangled late toddler on video call

Kairsten Watson: Mother of Zevaya Marie Flanagan, 2, reveals how dad Deontray Flanagan strangled late toddler on video call
Kairsten Watson (R) narrates father how Deontray Flanagan attacked their daughter Zevaya Marie Flanagan, 2 (inset) during a video call (ABC13-Mycah Hatfield/Facebook, KHOU11/Video screenshot and Harris County Sheriff's Office)

Warning: This article contains a recollection of crime and can be triggering to some, readers' discretion is advised.

HOUSTON, TEXAS: The mother of Zevaya Marie Flanagan, 2, who was pronounced dead after being physically assaulted on Monday, March 20, 2023, said that the toddler's father Deontray Flanagan Facetimed with her while he was choking their daughter. "Her face was just covered in blood. He hit her with something really hard, and then he called me on Facetime, and he showed me. He choked her on Facetime," described the deceased toddler's mother Kairsten Watson.

On the day of the incident, after picking up Zevaya from daycare, Deontray allegedly went into a Harris County Walmart store at around 10 am. Kairsten worked at the retail store, reports Fox 26. That's where, officials said, they had a brief argument. Deontray assaulted the mother, took her cell phone, and left the store with daughter Zevaya.


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Disturbing details of Zevaya Marie Flanagan's death

"He just wanted my phone. He's screaming at me telling me what is the passcode, tell me the passcode, or she's going to get hurt, and I'm telling him the passcode over and over, but I guess it just wasn't enough," said the mother. After he got the phone and passcode, he left with the child and led authorities on a 30-mile chase while hitting cars and driving the wrong way. Following which, he called the mother. She narrated, "I said, ‘Tray stop, that is your daughter, stop, she loves you.’ His exact words were you only love that man, you did this to her."


Court records said Deontray was angry with Kairsten because she was reportedly talking to another man, reports KHOU 11. Recalling the disturbing moment of how her child was assaulted, the mother told the outlet, "I know in her mind she probably was just like 'what did I do?' 'Why are you doing this to me for? Like I love you, why are you hurting me?'”

'She was just such a happy baby'

Deontray was arrested when the vehicle came to a stop on Steubner Airline Drive near Veterans Memorial Drive and was taken to Harris County Jail. He was uninjured but Zevaya required CPR until LifeFlight arrived. She later died at the Memorial Hermann Hospital. "She was just such a happy baby and I just know she's at peace," said the mother, who contacted the police on three different times about the father but was told there was nothing they could do. "The first day I called, he took my child. I was giving her a bath, and he took her out of the tub, she wasn't dressed, and he just took her out the house and drove away in a car, and didn't bring her back until 11 as the next day," the grieving mother added. 


Who is Deontray Flanagan?

Deontray, whose criminal history includes attacking his own brother with special needs, faces a murder charge and is being held in jail on $2 million bail. According to Click2Houston, prior to this case, Deontray was charged with assault causing bodily injury and evading arrest in 2017. The following year, he was charged with assault causing bodily injury to a family member. That same year, he was also charged with criminal mischief.

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 Kairsten Watson: Mother of Zevaya Marie Flanagan, 2, reveals dad choked late toddler on video call