HARRIS COUNTY -- A family that has waited nearly a decade for justice in the death their 16-year-old boy is faced with yet another setback.
Raymond Lee Farley, Jr. was killed back in May of 2003. His father, who is a reverend at a small church in northeast Houston, allowed him to spend the night at the home of two church members.
Investigators allege Sharon and David Watkins set their home on fire to scam their insurance company.
The quick-moving flames killed their 8-year-old daughter and Farley Jr.
“You’re gonna leave the people in the house, and you’re gonna set the house on fire, thinking it’s not gonna get out of control. Why are you gonna be that dumb,” questioned father Reverend Lee Farley, Sr.
Farley Sr. says he truly trusted the Watkins and looked at them as family. Now he wants to see them convicted in the murders.
“There’s no other doubt. Ray Charles is blind and dead and he can see through that. It should be an open and shut case,” said Farley.
Farley is finding out that the Watkins’ upcoming March 25 trial date is in jeopardy of being postponed.
The case is one of 125 frozen pending criminal cases in Harris County. The cases are under review because of an FBI probe of two former investigators.
Lonnie Blevins is accused of selling rare comic books that were evidence in a case he was involved in. Dustin Deutsch, who hasn’t been formally charged, is also being investigated.
Blevins and Deutsch played a key role in building a murder case against the Watkins.
“We’re not going to go to a trial with evidence we can’t submit, and we’re not going to go to trial if we don’t think justice can be done,” said Sara Marie Kinney with the Harris County District Attorney’s Office.
The DA’s office says the evidence collected in this case may no longer be credible.
Like the dozens of other cases under review, they’re trying to determine if they still have enough to go to trial.
“They have to look at not only what evidence has to be completely eliminated, but also what parts could maybe be reinvestigated,” added Kinney.
The news is another blow to the family of Farley Jr. They believed that investigators had built a solid case against the Watkins.
“I just admired them to the highest for their dedication, and the work they put into the case to seek the evidence,” explained Farley Sr.
Farley now worries that it will be difficult, if not impossible, to recollect evidence from a fire that happened almost ten years ago.
“We seem like we’re talking about a 50/50 shot, and that’s insufficient. That’s unacceptable,” he added.
It’s unclear when the DA’s office will determine if the Watkins’ trial will move forward on the scheduled date.
Sharon Watkins has stood trial before, but it ended with a mistrial. She remains in jail, and David Watkins is out on bond.