HOUSTON — A woman has been charged in connection with the murders of a southwest Houston couple and their 6-year-old daughter last summer.
Alexus Chenelle Williams, 29, is charged with three counts of capital murder in the shooting deaths of 29-year-old Donyavia Lagway, 35-year-old Gregory Carhee and 6-year-old Harmony Carhee inside their southwest Houston apartment on June 30.
Their 10-year-old daughter was also shot and critically wounded. That brave little girl survived by playing dead as she held her 1-year-old baby brother who'd been thrown across the room by the killer.
“This incredible young lady was able to get up despite being gravely wounded, (and) care for her 1-year-old old baby brother who was still in the apartment,” Harris County prosecutor Sean Teare said.
Prosecutors say Williams had an affair with Lagway, but the mother of four ended it and decided to go back to her husband.
They say Williams hired Xavier Davis, 28, to kill the whole family and told him he could have all the money he found in their apartment in the 12100 block of Fondren. Williams may have even watched him murder the victims on her phone, according to prosecutors.
"He was on Facetime with Alexus Williams. That means she watched either the executions or the immediate aftermath of that family being wiped out," said Sean Teare with the Harris County District Attorney's Office.
He said it's possible Williams even spoke to the victims before they were gunned down.
Davis was arrested in early July on three capital murder charges and one charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon charge.
Williams only spoke once during the hearing on Thursday.
“I didn’t fully understand what you said,” Williams said to the judge.
“You have no bond in any of the three capital murders,” Judge Eva Flores responded.
Prosecutors say Williams attended the family's funeral before she was arrested.
Investigators said from the beginning that they believed a second suspect was involved. And they suspected it was Williams after learning about the affair.
But it took them months to crack her cell phone and then more time to sort through everything on it.
Prosecutors say they found long text messages between the two suspects on the day of the crime.
But it was that Facetime video that sealed Williams' fate.
'Very, very tragic scene'
The case shook even veteran Houston police officers and shocked family members.
"This was a very, very tragic scene," said Assistant Chief Patricia Cantu with HPD. "We're sending out prayers to the family. This was not only a difficult scene for us but for the family as well."
Donyavia’s cousin, Ronette Terrell said no one deserved to go through anything like this, especially her kids.
“Why? That’s what I don’t understand,” Ronette said. “When I got the phone call I was just in disbelief and then she told me that they had both passed and I was saying that couldn’t be true."
The brave young survivor
Ronette said the 10-year-old’s quick thinking saved her life.
“She waited until he left and pretended that she was dead and then when he left she locked the door, grabbed her little brother, called her grandmother,” she said.
The girl, now 11, is being cared for by her two grandmothers and has undergone several surgeries.
The couple also had an 8-year-old boy who was not home at the time. Family members said Donyavia had just learned she was pregnant with her fifth child.