Teen arrested in connection to deadly Manor hit-and-run

Devon Sanders died on July 27, 2016 after he was hit by a vehicle near his home. (Courtesy: Lea Franks)
Devon Sanders died on July 27, 2016 after he was hit by a vehicle near his home. (Courtesy: Lea Franks)

MANOR, Texas (KXAN) — A 15 year old has been arrested in connection with the hit-and-run homicide of Devon Sanders on July 27 in Manor. Warrants have also been issued for a mother and son accused of involvement in the incident.

Thomas Bernal, 19, is wanted for manslaughter and failure to stop and render aid in an accident involving death, both second degree felonies. Debra Bernal, 45, Thomas’ mother, is wanted for tampering with physical evidence, a third degree felony.

“Parents aren’t always forthcoming with information about their kids, but the fact that [Debra] would go to the effort and actually help [Thomas] get away with it and actually prevent him from being brought to justice, taking him to Mexico and helping him take a vehicle to go to Mexico, that’s the shocking part of it,” Sgt. Craig Struble with the Manor Police Department says.

Manor police said Tuesday they believe Thomas met with Sanders, 19, to buy less than an ounce of marijuana. While he was buying the marijuana, officers say a disagreement led to Sanders hanging on to the outside of Thomas’ vehicle until he was driven into a parked truck causing his death.

Debra Bernal booking photo (Bastrop County Jail records)
Debra Bernal booking photo (Bastrop County Jail records)
Thomas Bernal booking photo (Bastrop County Jail records)
Thomas Bernal booking photo (Bastrop County Jail records)

Several 911 calls that morning reported a person driving erratically and hitting trash cans in the Greenbury Neighborhood on Marie Lane, just north of U.S 290.

Thomas’ vehicle was identified as a 2006 black Cadillac CTS 4-door with Texas license plate number GKN8452. Police believe his mother helped transport his vehicle and Thomas to Mexico, where they are both believed to be.

Manor police say they will turn the case over to a task force to help find the mother and son and bring them back to the U.S.

Additional information on the 15 year old arrested was not immediately available. Sanders graduated from Manor New Tech High School this year and had plans to attend University of Houston-Victoria in the fall.

Anyone with information on the locations of Thomas, Debra or the Cadillac is asked to call Manor police at 512-272-8177 or email police@cityofmanor.org.

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