Third man arrested in connection to Denny's fatal shooting

September 10, 2013 8:47:44 PM PDT
A woman comes face to face with an accused murderer, just minutes after police say he and a group of men were involved in the deadly robbery at an area Denny's. Now she says she's happy to be alive.

Three of the four suspects in the Denny's crime are in jail; one is still at large. Houston police believe they committed that crime then went home, changed clothes and car; and one ran over the woman who's now opening up about the incident.

Not even an hour after Houston police say three men plus a getaway driver stormed a west-side Denny's, killed customer Greg Placette, injured an employee and robbed everyone, Lavonda Harris almost became another victim that night.

"It was scary," she said. "He could have killed me."

Harris says she was sitting outside her daughter's apartment on Coke Street late August 26 when neighbor Mario Hilton put his car in drive instead of reverse.

"I thought he was going to stop but he didn't stop," Harris said. "It was all the way up on my chest, the hood was already up here."

The accident crushed Harris' foot. She says Hilton took off and left her bleeding in the parking lot. Her husband and daughter came to her rescue.

"They pulled a gun on my daughter," Harris said.

And that's when she says Mario and his brother Corey Hilton threatened them.

"And said, 'Somebody going to get killed,'" Harris said.

The threat now makes sense. Mario and Corey Hilton, Leroy Houston and Kenya Jackson have all been charged with capital murder in connection to the Denny's ambush. Jackson remains on the run.

And while Harris has moved because she is fearful of retaliation, the life-changing injury she's nursing has given her the courage to speak up.

"I really do fear for my life," she said. "It was bad, and I feel sorry for the guy who got killed in this situation. I really do feel like they need to be punished for what they did."

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Jackson is urged to contact the HPD Homicide Division at 713-308-3600 or Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.

Find Jessica on Facebook at ABC13JessicaWilley or on Twitter at @jwilleyabc13

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