Police: Manor hit-and-run suspect believed to be in Mexico

Grieving parents hope driver comes forward

MANOR, TEXAS - Police have issued warrants for the arrest of a teen and his mother in connection to the hit-and-run death of Devon Sanders in July, and Manor PD believes both have fled the country.

Manor police said Thomas Bernal, 19, is wanted on felony charges of manslaughter and fail to stop and render aid accident involving death. Police also issued an arrest warrant for Debra Bernal, 45, on a felony charge of tampering with physical evidence.

Police believe Thomas met with Sanders in the early hours of July 27 to purchase a small amount of marijuana. MPD believes there was a disagreement which led to Sanders handing onto the outside of Thomas’ vehicle until he was ran into a parked truck. Sanders was found in the 13200 block of Marie Lane, and he died at the scene.

MPD said a warrant was issued for Debra’s arrest because they believe she helped transport Thomas and his 2006 black Cadillac CTS (Texas License Place GKN8452) to Mexico. Both Debra and Thomas Bernal are believed to still be in Mexico.

Police also arrested a 15-year-old in connection with Sanders' death. They have been transported to the Gardner Betts Juvenile Detention Center, and their name has not been released.

KVUE spoke to both parents of Devon Sanders on Thursday, who say they are outraged at the mother's actions.

"You shouldn't support the things your kids do wrong, they do things wrong they need to suffer the consequences,” Sanders’ father Ronald Davis said.

They say parents need to lead by example.

“I am shocked and appalled and very angry--and just feel outraged that a mother would help her child run away from something of this magnitude,” Sanders’ mother Lea Franks said. “You cannot run forever, and Mexico is not going to be a safe haven big enough to hide you out, so I will be here the day you get brought back.”

For both Franks and Davis, their lives will never be the same, but they hope parents can take away one thing from their heartache.

"We have to be a society of law and order,” Franks said. “Talk to your children, continue to try to--even when teenagers push you away, continue to try to be their lives."

Anyone with information on Thomas, Debra or the Cadillac in question is asked to call Manor Police Department at 512-272-8177.

(© 2016 KVUE)


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