For Damien House, the past few days have been a true nightmare.
He broke down at his wife and children's vigil Friday night. It was held just hours after he left the hospital where his 6-year-old niece died after being shot in the chest. He also spent his morning in court following Daniel Canada's hearing.
SEE ALSO: 'It still feels like it's unreal:' Father remembers wife, 3 kids killed in Spring crash
Canada is the man accused of speeding down FM 2920 Sunday night with a blood alcohol level nearly twice the legal limit. Preliminary details from investigators show he was speeding around 100 miles an hour when he hit Porsha Branch's car.
Her sedan burst into flames in a seven car pile-up. The 28-year-old mother was killed along with three of her sons who were also in the car: 7-month-old Drake, 2-year-old Messiah, and 5-year-old King.
"To see the magnitude of what actually happened was just devastating to me," said Porsha's aunt, Donna Russ. "They wouldn't pull her out of the car while we were there."
SEE ALSO: Man in court for 1st time after crash that killed mom, 3 kids
"[We're] taking it one step at a time, but it's rough," said Porsha's father, Derick Russ. "We just ask that justice be served in the courthouse."
Meanwhile, Eyewitness News learned Canada has an extensive criminal history. Investigators told ABC13 he's spent time in prison for drugs.
Canada is currently on probation for a charge of evading police in Gregg County and has five open warrants for his arrest in Liberty County for charges including felon in possession of a firearm, evading in car, first degree possession of controlled substance, possession of a criminal instrument and money laundering.
On Sunday night, just 30 minutes before the fatal crash, Canada was pulled over for speeding by a Harris County Sheriff's deputy. The Harris County Sheriff's Office said the deputy confiscated marijuana, did not perform a field sobriety test and let Canada drive away.
SEE ALSO: Driver charged with intoxication manslaughter was released before crash that killed 4, sheriff's office says
We're told the deputy was following a policy that states when less than four ounces of marijuana are found, it warrants just a citation.
HCSO released a statement to the media saying:
On Sunday, March 14 at about 8:08 p.m., a Harris County Sheriff's Office deputy was driving his marked vehicle when he observed a driver pass him at a high rate of speed. The deputy conducted a traffic stop, pulling the driver over along the I-45 northbound frontage road at Parramatta Lane. The deputy had the driver exit the vehicle and briefly detained him. The driver told the deputy he had a small amount of marijuana in the vehicle, which the deputy took into evidence. The deputy told the driver the suspected marijuana would be tested in a lab and that criminal charges could be filed at a later date, depending on the outcome of that testing. The deputy reported that the driver displayed no outward signs of impairment and was released from custody.
The driver from the traffic stop is the same individual suspected of causing the fatality crash that occurred on FM 2920, Daniel Canada. The incident will be reviewed by the Harris County Sheriff's Office Internal Affairs Division to determine whether all applicable policies were followed.
ABC13 followed up with questions regarding the open warrants and why Canada was not arrested during the traffic stop for those.
The sheriff's office said it's all under review as part of its internal affairs investigation and Sheriff Ed Gonzalez did not wish to comment.
"The Harris County Sheriff's Department does have some sort of blame to this just because they didn't do their due diligence to do more," said Derick. "If they would have done a little bit more, just taken a little bit more time, then maybe this could have been prevented."
A spokesperson for the sheriff's office said the deputy involved has about 20 years of experience and is currently a crime scene investigator, so he does not wear body cameras or carry dash camera equipment.
Canada is charged with four counts of intoxication manslaughter and is facing up to life in prison if convicted. He remains in jail without bond.
"We're going to continue to be there every court date until justice is served," said Derick.
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Man charged with killing mom and 3 kids had open warrants for arrest, records show
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