A Houston man was sentenced Monday to 18 months in state jail for his role in the abduction of a 2-year-old boy that set off an Amber Alert and a several-hour search.

Zikeyas Lavon Deshun McCullum, 22, pleaded guilty on one count of interfering with child custody after initially being charged with kidnapping, court records show. The plea was part of an agreement with prosecutors, according to court records.

McCullum aided a woman in taking a 2-year-old boy from a La Marque residence Jan. 26 and acting as the driver in the incident, according to a probable cause affidavit.

La Marque police responded to a report of a child abduction about 1:45 p.m. Jan. 26 in the 200 block of Taylor Street, according to the affidavit.

The grandmother, who is the legal guardian of the 2-year-old boy, told police his biological mother had come to the home along with McCullum, according to the affidavit.

The mother, Hailey Richter, 19, was allowed only supervised contact with the boy, according to the affidavit.

During the incident, Richter attacked the grandmother with pepper spray, pushed her head into a door and ran out of the residence with the boy, according to the affidavit.

The grandmother gave chase, but Richter pepper sprayed her again and punched her multiple times in the face before getting in a car and driving off with McCullum and the boy, according to the affidavit.

The boy was eventually found in Harris County and returned to the grandmother, officials said.

Police arrested Richter and McCullum and both were initially charged with kidnapping.

Richter is still awaiting trial on the kidnapping charge, court records show.


The family of a man killed in a February helicopter crash is suing a Santa Fe business, among others, for circumstances leading up to the man’s death.

Sammy Kawamura, Barbara Kawamura and Ashley Fletcher filed the lawsuit against Westwind Helicopters, of Santa Fe, Bell Helicopter Services and Bell Helicopter Textron Friday in the Galveston County Court at Law No. 1, court records show.

Matthew Kawamura, who worked for Westwind Helicopters, was piloting a Bell 407 helicopter Feb. 27 when it dropped out of the sky and crashed near Houma, La., the lawsuit asserts.

The helicopter was on its way from an oil platform to Houma to repair an engine cowl fastener, the lawsuit asserts.

“As a result of the incident, Matthew Kawamura was tragically killed when a component of the helicopter pierced through his neck and shattered his skull,” the lawsuit asserts.

Westwind Helicopters was negligent for putting Kawamura in a dangerous situation and failing to warn him about the possible risks of piloting the helicopter and Bell Helicopter is liable for making a defective helicopter, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit seeks more than $1 million in damages, court records show.

No one representing the defendants had filed a response in the courts as of Monday afternoon.


A Galveston County man is suing a La Marque business, asserting it has failed to repay a $50,000 loan and conspiring to devalue his stock options in the company.

James McKinley filed a lawsuit against Kin-Tek Analytical and William Botts Oct. 4 in the 122nd District Court, seeking between $100,000 and $200,000 in damages, court records show.

McKinley in February reached an agreement with Kin-Tek Analytical to sell Kin-Tek Laboratories, the lawsuit asserts.

McKinley then received about 40 percent of the shares of stock in Kin-Tek Analytical, the lawsuit asserts.

Botts and McKinley had previously each loaned $50,000 to Analytical in March and April 2014, the lawsuit asserts.

Payments on the loans were due in March and April, according to court records.

Analytical officials repaid Botts in September 2016, but have not repaid McKinley’s loan, the lawsuit asserts.

McKinley also claims Botts is falsely undervaluing Analytical’s assets in an attempt to devalue the stock, the lawsuit asserts.

The defendants have not yet filed a response in the case, court records show.


A search firm is suing a Friendswood company, asserting that $8,250 remained unpaid after an employee placement.

Newport Strategic Search, also known as The Newport Group, filed suit against Breakwater Energy Services, of Friendswood, Oct. 3 in the 122nd District Court. The lawsuit contends the two groups had reached an agreement in October 2014 under which the Friendswood business would pay the search firm 25 percent of a successful hire’s first 12 months of gross compensation, according to the lawsuit.

The search firm then recommended a man who was hired at a rate of $110,000 a year, the lawsuit asserts.

The search firm billed Breakwater $27,500 in February 2015 over the exchange, according to the lawsuit.

The search firm offered to let Breakwater only pay $19,250 if all of it was paid by May 4, 2015, but Breakwater didn’t pay anything until June, the lawsuit asserts.

Breakwater only paid the lowered $19,250 fee after the deadline had expired, the lawsuit asserts.

The Friendswood company hadn’t yet filed a response in the court as of deadline Monday.

Matt deGrood: 409-683-5230; matt.degrood@galvnews.com


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