Former Arizona fire captain sentenced in triple murder case

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David Watson (Source: KOLD) David Watson (Source: KOLD)
Watson in court (Source: KOLD) Watson in court (Source: KOLD)

A judge sentenced a former Arizona fire captain to two life terms in prison on Monday for killing his ex-wife, her mother and another person in a case that remained unsolved for over a decade.

David Watson, who worked for the Tucson Fire Department, cried as he told a Pima County judge that he was innocent.

"We're clear that we'll never know what truly happened," Watson said. "There are people in this courtroom and obviously this court who think I was the one who did all that."

[RELATED: Daughter of former Tucson fire captain takes stand in murder trial]

The court previously said that his sentence was for 66 years. It revised its statement later on Monday, saying the judge had not read the full sentence in court. Watson got a life term with the possibility of release after 25 years for the killing of his ex-mother-in-law, Marilyn Cox, followed by another life term for the killing of her friend, Renee Farnsworth, that will begin after he serves the first one.

He was also sentenced to 16 years for the killing of his ex-wife, Linda Watson, in 2000.

Watson, 48, was found guilty in March after prosecutors said he killed his ex-wife, Linda Watson, during a custody battle.

Linda Watson went missing in 2000. Her body was found in the desert three years later, but it wasn't identified until 2011 through DNA testing because of a backlog at the medical examiner's office.

Three years after she went missing, her mother, Marilyn Cox, was embroiled in a legal battle with David Watson over visitation rights involving her granddaughter.

Cox and her friend, Renee Farnsworth, had just dropped off the girl after a court-ordered visitation when they were gunned down in 2003.

A jury deadlocked in November after a months-long trial that included testimony from Watson's second ex-wife, who said she had lied when she provided him an alibi during the attacks.

Watson was tried for a second time this year and found guilty of two counts of first-degree murder and one count of second-degree murder.

He worked for the Tucson fire department for 20 years and in 2007 was promoted to captain. He resigned shortly after his arrest in April 2015.


This post has been corrected to show that Watson was sentenced to two life terms, not just 66 years.

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