Suspected arsonist turns herself in
Sept. 4, 2008

HOUSTON-A woman accused of setting a turned herself in to authorities Thursday.

Sharon Watkins is facing two counts of murder in the deaths of a 16-year-old boy and her 8-year-old daughter.

The victims died in a house fire police say was set by Watkins and her husband, David.

It happened back in May of 2003.

"The fire was initially set with the goal of containing it. Then it grew outside the control," said Detective Lonnie Blevins.

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Last week, prosecutors charged David Watkins with one count of murder. He appeared in court Thursday to hear the charges read against him.

Prosecutors painted a picture of a family in dire financial straits who set fire to their home for insurance money.

Prior to the deadly blaze, the house had caught fire on five separate occasions. Three were deemed suspicious, and investigators say the Watkins had collected over $500,000 in insurance claims. Investigators think they wanted the money, but never intended to kill anyone.

But David Watkins' defense attorney maintained his client's innocence.

"I believe David Watkins is innocent. I believe the facts are going to show that he did not set this fire or have any role in setting this fire," defense attorney David Singer said.

Sharon Watkins could face a judge later in the day Thursday.

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