Houston Couple Charged for Insurance Fraud, Deadly House Fire

September 5, 2008

A grand jury has indicted a Houston, Texas couple over a 2003 fire that killed their daughter and a boy in an alleged house insurance scheme.

Harris County Fire Marshal’s arson investigator Lonnie Blevins said Wednesday that 44-year-old Sharon Watkins is sought on two counts of murder.

Blevins told The Associated Press that 48-year-old David Watkins surrendered last month, after being indicted, on one murder count and is free on $50,000 bond.

Blevins had no information on an attorney for David Watkins.

Blevins says the same house suffered about $400,000 in damage in several fires, between 2000-2003, and the couple collected on their insurance.

The victims of the May 2003 arson fire were the couple’s 8-year-old daughter, Shanda, and 16-year-old family friend Raymond Farley Jr.

Blevins says Sharon and David Watkins no longer own the home in northwest Houston.

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