'My family will never recover' after woman killed by stray bullet, victim's mom tells ABC13

Darius Lewis' bond was set at $75,000 for a manslaughter charge.

Friday, May 12, 2023
Family describes mother of 3 killed by stray bullet
Bethany Mefford was killed in her sleep when a stray bullet went through her window. Now, her family is gathering to help with the three kids she leaves behind.

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas (KTRK) -- A man accused of firing a gun at car burglars outside an Humble apartment, ultimately killing a sleeping woman in her bed, appeared before a judge Thursday morning.

The judge set Darius Lewis' bond at $75,000 in probable cause court. Lewis is charged with manslaughter in the shooting death of 28-year-old Bethany Mefford, a woman who was sleeping when investigators said a stray bullet penetrated her wall and hit her in the head.

Mefford, who is originally from Pennsylvania, moved to Houston in 2014. Her mother says she leaves behind three kids, all under 8 years old.

Mefford's mother calls her a bright light in a dark place.

ABC13 also spoke with Mefford's sister, Connie Watson, who lives in Pennsylvania but is coming to Houston this weekend to be with her family.

Watson said Mefford was an amazing mother to her three boys. She said she was there for everyone and anyone who needed a shoulder to lean on or an ear to listen. She goes on to mention that because of this death, her life and the lives of Mefford's sons will never be the same.

"I've never been so sad in my life. But I'm mad mostly for the boys, because they will never have that life with her that she wanted for them, and though all of us will be there and care for them, nobody can do it like she did," Watson said.

As for Lewis, he has a criminal past that includes a couple of misdemeanors, like trespassing and evading arrest, and a felony for possession of drugs.

If he posts bond, Lewis must not have any weapons and must wear a GPS monitor.

The shooting happened Wednesday at about 2:30 a.m. at an apartment complex on Woodland Hills.

SEE ORIGINAL STORY: Manslaughter charge filed against apartment resident whose stray bullet killed neighbor, HCSO says

Three people were allegedly breaking into vehicles in the parking lot, trying to steal catalytic converters.

Investigators say Lewis, who lives in a unit across the parking lot from Mefford, went outside with a gun and allegedly fired multiple times at the suspects.

Lewis claims he fired at the ground, but detectives say evidence at the scene doesn't support that.

ABC13 obtained video of the alleged car break-ins, and it shows deputies on the scene confronting the vandals who look to be inside a red car.

Two adults and a juvenile were taken into custody.

It's believed one of the bullets fired by Lewis went through Mefford's apartment wall and struck her, killing her in her sleep.

"The defendant discharged his weapon several times at the suspects attempting to steal his catalytic converters. One of the rounds fired impacted the exterior wall of the complainant's apartment, ultimately striking her, and causing her death," prosecutors said in court.

Mefford's boyfriend told Harris County deputies that he did not realize she had been shot until 6 a.m., about three and a half hours later, when he went into her room.

Because Mefford died sleeping in her bed, Watson said she feels nowhere is safe.

"I need everybody to know that they don't know what they took from us, and my family will never recover or be the same without her. We really won't," Watson said.

Lewis has been assigned to the 177th court.