UPDATE: David Watson gets 66-year sentence

UPDATE: David Watson gets 66-year sentence
Linda Watson (Source: Family)
Linda Watson (Source: Family)
Marilyn Cox (Source: Family)
Marilyn Cox (Source: Family)
Renee Farnsworth (Source: Family)
Renee Farnsworth (Source: Family)

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - David Watson, the Tucson man convicted of killing his ex-wife, mother-in-law and her friend more than a decade ago, will spend at least the next 66 years in prison.

Watson was sentenced on Monday, April 17, minutes after a judge denied the defense's motion for a new trial.

CRIME COVERAGE: The KOLD News 13 mugshots of the month are available HERE.

"I am innocent, without a doubt," Watson said before the sentencing. "(It's) clear we will never know what happened to Linda, Marilyn or Renee. I gave up on that years ago, ever finding out. I don't consider myself guilty, I consider myself labeled as guilty."

Watson, who pleaded not guilty last year, must serve a minimum of 66 years in prison.

He was sentenced to 16 years for second-degree murder in the death of his ex-wife Linda Watson in 2000.

Watson, a former captain with the Tucson Fire Department, was given life in prison for the murders of his mother-in-law Marilyn Cox and her friend Renee Farnsworth in 2003. For each count of first-degree murder, Watson must serve at least 25 years before he is eligible for parole.

The judge ordered the sentences be served consecutively.

Watson was found guilty on three counts of murder late last month and sentencing was scheduled for Monday morning.

Before sentencing, the judge heard arguments on a defense motion for a new trial. The judge denied the motion.

Watson's co-counsel Natasha Wrae had argued there were multiple alleged reasons for a new trial -- the weight of the evidence not supporting conviction, misconduct by the prosecutors and the defendant not being provided a fair and impartial jury trial.

Late last week, the judge rejected the defense's request to delay sentencing, setting up Monday's showdown.

After the sentencing, Tucson News Now spoke with family and friends of both Watson and the victims.

"He's an innocent man and it's truly sad that they're putting an innocent man in prison and taking him away from his family and his children," said his daughter, Jordynn Watson.

"Even though he sat there and he said he didn't do this, come on. Who else would want my sister dead and go to the lengths of putting a gun almost against her head and blowing her brains out, so to speak," said Pat Hinkle, Marilyn Cox's sister.

"I'm glad we're getting justice. And I do feel sorry for the other side also. I mean his daughter. His son. Everybody was really a victim in this," said Renee Farnsworth's daughter, Dorothy Brady.

"We were very hopeful that the judge would grant a new trial, that the drastic differences in the jury outcomes from the first and second trial, in our mind, it did not create a clear and convincing conviction," said former co-worker and long-time Watson friend, Richard Johnson.

"He is a person that I've known for so long, I can't begin to even think that it would be a thought in his mind that he would do something so horrible to someone," said long-time Watson friend and supporter, Kathy Vance who says she was shocked by the length of the sentence he received.


• Aug. 20, 2000: Linda Watson disappears.

• May 7, 2003: Marilyn Cox and Renee Farnsworth shot and killed on the northwest side of Tucson.

• October 2003: Body found in the desert near Silverbell Mine area, but authorities are not able to identify.

• 2011: Body found in the desert identified as Linda Watson.

• April 25, 2015: David Watson arrested on murder charges.

• October 2016: First murder trial begins.

• November 2016: First murder trial ends with hung jury.

• January 2017: Second murder trial begins.

• March 2017: Watson found guilty on all counts.

• April 14, 2017: Judge denies request to delay sentencing.

• April 17, 2017: Watson scheduled to be sentenced.


Many questions surrounding double homicide

Sheriff: Remains identified as Linda Watson, who went missing in 2000

Watson's remains could point to her murderer

Cold-case victim's sister: 'I knew who did it all along'

Personnel files released for fire official accused of cold case murder

Ex-fire captain's murder trial set for October

What's next in the ex-Tucson firefighter triple murder trial

New trial scheduled for former Tucson fire captain accused of murder

Jury selected, opening statements to begin Wednesday in Watson murder trial

Defense files for new trial

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