Thursday, September 4, 2008

Fatal Houston Fire Started by Home Owners for Insurance Money

You anticipate that certain mishaps may occur when you allow your son or daughter to spend the night at a friend's house. Perhaps the kids will irritate some innocent phone owners by making crank calls in the middle of the night. Or, maybe the young host will figure out the password to the restricted television channels after the adults have fallen asleep. And, there's simply the problem that your child will come home tired and cranky the next day. Whatever events transpire throughout the night, you certainly anticipate that your child will indeed make it back to your care. Unfortunately, Houston residents Rev. and Mrs. Raymond Lee Farley never got to welcome their son home after his night away.

Raymond Farley, Jr. was killed in a house fire while spending the night with David and Sharon Watkins and their two children five years ago. The true cause of the blaze had never been determined ... until last month. On August 19, Mr. and Mrs. Watkins were indicted on murder charges. It turns out that the couple started the fire in hopes of causing just enough damage to get a nice insurance settlement. They never expected the fire to consume the home, killing both Raymond Farley, Jr. and their own eight-year-old daughter.

Mr. and Mrs. Watkins are far from being novices at throwing matches on their place of residence. The couple had previously started at least five other fires at the same Houston home, collecting around $500,000 in insurance claims. I guess they thought they had developed a pretty good scheme. With two dead children resulting from their greed, however, a guilty conviction would put them in a cell without easy access to matches or other fire-inducing materials.

David Watkins turned himself into authorities and is now free on $50,000 bond. Sharon Watkins is in hiding and is believed to be staying with family or friends in the Houston area. If you know the whereabouts of Ms. Watkins, you are encouraged to contact Crime Stoppers.

At Bertolino LLP, we have attorneys who will work tirelessly to make sure that you are given all of the rights guaranteed to those who have been accused of a crime. Whatever charges you may be facing, we have someone who can help. Please contact our Austin, Houston, or San Antonio office today.

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