Nassau Bay sergeant's suspected killer charged with capital murder

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The accused killer of a Nassau Bay police sergeant was charged with capital murder Friday morning.

Tavores Dewayne Henderson, 21, was initially charged with felony murder before it was upgraded. He has no bond.

Thursday night, he was given a $150,000 bond during his first court appearance.

He wore his jail-issued uniform inside Harris County Probable Cause Court as the charges were read to him.

On Tuesday night, police said Henderson was in the process of being arrested during a traffic stop in the Clear Lake area town for an outstanding warrant, when he managed to escape officers, get back in his vehicle and hit 43-year-old Sgt. Kaila Sullivan.

In a bit of symbolism, Harris County Sheriff's Office Maj. Mike Lee tweeted a picture of Henderson in handcuffs inside his holding cell.



"Tuesday night when Sgt. Sullivan lost her life, Henderson fled the scene with one handcuff on his wrist. I bet he didn't know Sgt. Sullivan had another set waiting on him...he's currently at the @HCSOTexas jail & wearing HER handcuffs while on his way to court tonight!" Lee tweeted.

Earlier Thursday, a fugitive task force arrested Henderson in southeast Houston.

The $150,000 bond amount was decried by law enforcement leaders in the region.

"A police Sgt dead, suspect on the run for couple days, my team and our law enforcement partners do a phenomenal job locating & taking him into custody without incident- I simply do not understand his initial bond set at $150,000," said Sheriff Ed Gonzales, whose Harris County Sheriff's Office led the investigation since Sullivan's death.




"Outrageous! This coward who took the life of a hero & poses a clear & present danger to community & the people we serve. This story is incomplete, what court is this? Bail decisions need to be made on the basis of risk to public safety & of flight," tweeted Houston police Chief Art Acevedo.

The Houston Police Officers' Union also weighed in.

"Yes, the judge gave Tavores Henderson a bond for the murder of Nassau Police Sergeant Kaila Sullivan. Henderson was already out on four felony bonds. #EnoughIsEnough This is a slap in the face to law enforcement everywhere," the union tweeted.



Despite the outrage, the district attorney's office explained why Henderson would not have been released, even if he posted bond.

Henderson had a separate aggravated assault charge, but he skipped court so bond for that charge was forfeited.

ABC13 asked why Henderson was not first charged with capital murder.

The district attorney's office said the charge is complex, and that means investigators had to get all of their details nailed down before upgrading the murder charge to capital murder.

Sean Teare, Harris County District Attorney's Office Chief of Vehicular Crimes, talked about the strong reaction to the initial $150,000 bond.

"As a member of this community, as someone who holds every single law enforcement agent out there in the highest regard possible and understands how dangerous their job is, there's no question that I can sympathize with their concerns," Teare said.

"What I think is important for the community as a whole to know is there was never a chance that this individual was going to get out prior to us filing this capital murder charge," he continued.

The typical bond for murder is $50,000.





Henderson's Instagram and Facebook videos were discussed in court Friday. Prosecutors spent the last 48 hours looking over the content, saying they prove he's violent, dangerous and another reason they believe he should stay in jail.

Henderson is expected back in court on Monday.

PREVIOUS STORY:

An anonymous tip led law enforcement engaged in a region-wide manhunt to capture Tavores Dewayne Henderson, the fugitive suspected of hitting and killing a Nassau Bay police sergeant.

During a news conference Thursday, hours after Henderson's arrest in southeast Houston, authorities said the 21-year-old suspect's mother, Tiffany Henderson, is also being charged with hindering apprehension of a fugitive. She is accused of hiding Tavores since Sgt. Kaila Sullivan, 43, was killed Tuesday night.

The woman's fiancee, Geoffrey Wheeler, is also facing charges for his alleged role in helping Tavores' flight from justice

The charge was revealed just hours after Tiffany Henderson spoke exclusively with ABC13's Miya Shay.

"That's my child. I know my child. My child is not a murderer," the suspect's mom told Eyewitness News.

SEE MORE: Mother of suspect Tavores D. Henderson apologizes to officer's family
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Mother of suspect in Nassau Bay officer's death apologizes to family.



"His mother aided him that night in escaping," said Sean Teare, chief of the vehicular crimes division in the Harris County District Attorney's Office. "She is charged with hindering. She also lied to the sheriff deputies that night. Her boyfriend drove the car that helped him escape. He is being charged with third-degree apprehension."

Teare continued, "She and the boyfriend took him from a location close to the scene to a hotel, where he spent the night. She then went to her home and came into contact with sheriff's deputies immediately when she arrived at her house. She initially told them she didn't even know who Mr. Henderson was."

Harris Co. Sheriff Ed Gonzalez also promised charges for anyone who helped the suspect's escape.

Tavores Henderson was taken into custody without incident in the 4200 block of Heritage Trail Drive, the sheriff's office said. The 21-year-old faces an upgraded charge of capital murder.

An anonymous tip into Crime Stoppers was key in capturing him. There was a combined reward of up to $20,000 for his arrest.

WATCH: Sheriff Ed Gonzalez explains how Nassau Bay sergeant's suspected killer was caught
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Here is how authorities captured the fugitive in the murder of Nassau Bay police Sgt. Kaila Sullivan:



Henderson is apparently no stranger to run-ins with the law.

Court records show last Sunday, he allegedly tried to kidnap the mother of his children from a Topgolf parking lot on Houston's west side. The woman was there attending a work event. Records show the two made it a few blocks away, where she told Henderson that police had been called and her mother was coming. That caused Henderson to let her go. That alleged assault is why a warrant for Henderson's arrest was issued.

Records obtained by ABC13 also show Henderson with pending charges in Harris, Montgomery and Galveston counties.

ORIGINAL STORY: Police sergeant dies after being hit by suspect in traffic stop
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A police officer hit by a suspect's vehicle in Nassau Bay was about to mark 16 years with the department.



He appears to be proud of his various arrests, recording his own release from Harris County Jail a few months ago, and posting it onto his Instagram page. He has also posted his own mugshots on his page, and featured various parts of his alleged criminal history on his rap videos uploaded on YouTube.

READ MORE: Sgt. Kaila Sullivan: What we know about the fallen Nassau Bay officer
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Sgt. Sullivan, who was hit and killed during a traffic stop, was from Friendswood and would have marked her 16th year with the department this month.



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