Monthly Archives: February 2019

A Pennsylvania woman, charged with her teen daughter in the deaths of five family members – including three children – was arraigned Tuesday.

The suspects, Shana S. Decree, 45, and Dominique Decree, 19, were taken into custody Monday after bodies were found inside an apartment in suburban Philadelphia, authorities said.

Bucks County District Attorney Matthew Weintraub said Shana Decree and Dominique Decree are charged with five counts of homicide and one count each of conspiracy in the deaths.

Shana Decree was jailed without bail following a preliminary arraignment early Tuesday, according to Philly.com, while her daughter was still awaiting her hearing.

The victims include Shana Decree’s children, Naa’Irah Smith, 25, and Damon Decree Jr., 13, both of Morrisville; as well as Shana Decree’s sister Jamilla Campbell, 45, of Trenton, and Campbell’s 9-year-old twin daughters Imani and Erika Allen. Weintraub said that authorities are looking for Campbell’s 17-year-old son Joshua. He noted that the teen is not a suspect in the deaths.

Weintraub said the causes of death are under investigation and that it was premature to discuss a motive.

“This is a terrible tragedy,” Weintraub said at the scene late Monday night, according to the Associated Press. “I just spoke to the family of all five of the deceased, and we’re all heartbroken.

For Immediate Release:

Akrem Azzam, severely beaten at the downtown City of Houston jail, came out victorious in federal court Friday against Houston jailer Sheila Ross who looked on while another Houston jailer, Lasswon Shannon, repeatedly beat Akrem while handcuffed at the downtown City jail. Lasswon Shannon was arrested and pled guilty to assault.  

While the 12-member federal jury verdict was for $105,000.00, costs and attorney’s fees will push the expected total to over $250,000,00. Azzam had given the defendants an offer to settle for much less, however, prior to trial the defendants offered no compensation to Mr. Azzam.       

“This is a very important case as Jailer Ross was found liable, not for assaulting Mr. Azzam, but for failing to intervene,” said civil rights lawyer Randall Kallinen, “The trial and results send a strong message to jailers and police that encourage violence against citizens by standing by and doing nothing. Maybe if this would have happened earlier the Harding Street Murders would not have occurred.”   

Co-counsel Civil Rights Attorney U.A. Lewis stated, “The jury should be very proud of their verdict. It demonstrated that This is America and we have constitutional rights here, civil rights and the jury upheld them for us all with their verdict.”

The City of Houston joined Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE:WFC), NeighborWorks® America and its local network members today to announce the NeighborhoodLIFT® program will expand for Houston with a $6.1 million commitment by Wells Fargo to boost local homeownership.

NeighborWorks America network members Avenue, Fifth Ward CRC and Tejano Center will administer the $15,000 down payment assistance grants, determine eligibility and provide homebuyer education.

“Houston is a special place to call home, and this investment will help our local community of hardworking Houstonians with big dreams for the future,” said Mayor Sylvester Turner. “We appreciate the efforts of Wells Fargo, NeighborWorks America and its local affiliates to bring the NeighborhoodLIFT program to Houston again and help put homeownership within reach for hundreds of households.”

The 2019 Houston NeighborhoodLIFT program follows the 2012 program that created 422 homeowners with a $9 million philanthropic commitment by Wells Fargo. Overall, Wells Fargo has conducted 68 LIFT program events across the U.S. since 2012, creating nearly 20,000 homeowners.

Free NeighborhoodLIFT event scheduled March 22–23 
Interested homebuyers are encouraged to register beginning Monday, March 4 at www.wellsfargo.com/lift to attend the free event scheduled on Friday, March 22, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and on Saturday, March 23, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Crowne Plaza Reliant Park, located at 8686 Kirby Dr., Houston. Walk-ins also are welcome while grants are available.

“The NeighborhoodLIFT program is another example of our commitment to Houston and our efforts to build better communities through sustainable homeownership,” said David Miree, Wells Fargo Texas lead region president. “The program will help hardworking families and individuals get on the path to achieve successful and sustainable homeownership.”

To be eligible to reserve a $15,000 down payment assistance grant, annual incomes must not exceed 80 percent of the local area median income in Houston, which is about $59,900 for up to a family of four. In addition, there are special parameters for eligible military service members and veterans, teachers, law enforcement officers, firefighters and emergency medical technicians, who can earn up to 100 percent of the area median income, which is about $74,900 for up to a family of four in Houston, and may obtain $17,500 down payment assistance grants.

“Wells Fargo is to be commended for its commitment to providing down payment assistance to homebuyers, whether or not they seek financing from them.This is an innovative approach and one that puts the emphasis on the need to increase the pool of qualified homebuyers, said Marvalette Hunter, the mayor’s chief of staff, who participated in Monday’s announcement.  “We hope that other lenders will follow suit and partner with the City of Houston to increase the supply of affordable housing. Houston is a great place to live and work and we want to make sure that everyone that desires to live in the city can afford to do so including our veterans, first responders, teachers and city employees.” Participating homebuyers can obtain mortgage financing from any participating lender. Approved homebuyers will have up to 60 days to finalize a contract to purchase a home in the city of Houston.

“This innovative public-private collaboration will create more than 290 Houston homeowners,” said Lisa Hasegawa, western region vice president with NeighborWorks America. “The required homebuyer education classes provided by certified professionals better prepare NeighborhoodLIFT homebuyers to achieve their goal of sustainable homeownership.”

Approved homebuyers must be approved for home financing with an eligible lender and be in contract to purchase a home in the city of Houston. To reserve the full grant amount, participants buying a primary residence with the NeighborhoodLIFT program must commit to live in the home for five years.

“We’re ready to help more families become homeowners with the support of NeighborhoodLIFT homebuyer education and down payment assistance,” said Mary Lawler, executive director of Avenue. “We are pleased to join Wells Fargo, NeighborWorks America and our local partners to make homeownership more affordable, achievable and sustainable.”

In addition, Wells Fargo has committed $325,000 for up to 650 consumers to receive complimentary face-to-face homeownership counseling. Interested homebuyers can receive a voucher at the Houston NeighborhoodLIFT launch event that will provide in-person homeownership counseling at no charge with a participating HUD-approved housing counselor in Houston. The homeownership counseling grant program is a resource in addition to the homebuyer education required for a NeighborhoodLIFT down payment assistance grant.

The FBI Violent Crime Task Force needs the public’s help identifying and locating three suspects who robbed two Houston-area Capital One banks last week. Investigators believe the armed trio may also be responsible for at least two other bank robberies in 2018. Crime Stoppers of Houston is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information that leads to the identification and arrest of the bank robbers.  On Thursday, February 21, 2019, at approximately 4:36 p.m., two black male suspects and one black female suspect entered the Capital One Bank located at 15900 Stuebner Airline Rd. in Spring, TX. The trio swarmed the bank and ordered customers and employees into a back room and on to the floor before jumping over the teller counter and demanding money and the keys to open the teller drawers. The suspects eventually left the bank without any money, after the keys could not be located. No vehicle or direction of travel was observed, and no injuries were reported. The following day, on Friday, February 22, 2019, at approximately 4:05 p.m., the trio entered the Capital One Bank at 6117 N. Highway 6 in northwest Houston. Armed with pistols and a knife, they swarmed the bank and ordered customers and employees into a back room and on to the floor. The suspects jumped over the teller counter and demanded money and the keys to open the teller drawers. In fear for their lives, bank employees gave the suspects the keys to the registers. After collecting an undisclosed amount of cash, the suspects left the bank. Minor injuries were reported. Investigators believe at least one member of this crew is responsible for two other Capital One Bank robberies that occurred on October 2, 2018 and November 19, 2018 at 19619 Tomball Pkwy and 10951 Jones Rd., respectively.

The suspects are described as follows: Suspect 1:RACE/SEX: Black/MaleAGE: 20-30 years oldHEIGHT: 5’8”-5’10”WEIGHT: Medium buildFACIAL HAIR: UnshavenCLOTHING: On 2/22/19, the suspect wore a black hoodie with the hood up, a yellow reflective safety vest, blue jeans, and black tennis shoes. He was armed with a semi-automatic pistol. Suspect 2:RACE/SEX: Black/MaleAGE: 20-30 years oldHEIGHT: 5’11” – 6’WEIGHT: Thin buildFACIAL HAIR: Clean shavenCLOTHING: On 2/22/19, the suspect wore a black hoodie with the hood up, a tan short-sleeved shirt over the hoodie, matching tan pants, and a black mask over his face. He was armed with a semi-automatic pistol. Suspect 3:RACE/SEX: Black/FemaleAGE: 20-30 years oldHEIGHT: 5’3”WEIGHT: Thin buildCLOTHING:

On 2/22/19, the suspect wore a dark green hooded jacket with the hood up, ripped skinny jeans, a black ski mask, and high top black and gray sneakers. She was armed with a knife. Bank surveillance photographs and a video (from the Nov. 19, 2018 robbery) are attached. The photos can also be found on Twitter @FBIHouston. Crime Stoppers of Houston is offering up to $5,000 for information leading to the identification and arrest of this bank robber. If you have any information, please call the Crime Stoppers tip line at 713-222-TIPS (8477) or the FBI Houston Field Office at (713) 693-5000, or visit www.crime-stoppers.org. Tips may also be submitted to Crime Stoppers through the Crime Stoppers of Houston app which can be downloaded at the app store for both iPhone and Android devices. All tipsters remain anonymous.