Opening statements begin in murder trial of former Tucson fire c - Tucson News Now

Opening statements begin in murder trial of former Tucson fire captain

David Watson. (Source: Tucson News Now) David Watson. (Source: Tucson News Now)
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Opening statements began Wednesday in the murder trial of David Watson, the former Tucson fire captain accused of killing three people more than 10 years ago.

Watson is facing charges in connection with the death of his ex-wife Linda Watson, his former mother-in-law Marilyn Cox and Cox's friend Renee Farnsworth.

[READ: David Watson pleads not guilty to murder charges]

[READ: Years of questions mount for Pima County cold case murder suspect]

[READ: Jury seated for murder trial of former Tucson fire captain]

The much-anticipated trial, which is expected to last six weeks, began Tuesday, Oct. 4, with jury selections.

Watson, who pleaded not guilty last year, is charged with two counts of first-degree murder and one count of second-degree murder. First-degree murder is punishable by death or life imprisonment while a second-degree murder conviction can result in a prison term of 10 to 25 years.

In his opening, prosecutor Jonathan Mosher said David's second ex-wife Rosemary Watson is expected to testify later in the day.

Mosher said Rosemary will admit that she lied for David for years.

Mosher said David killed Linda to keep full custody of their young daughter and later killed Cox to keep her from having unsupervised visits with the child.

"And you will hear, in the time period between 2000 and 2003, two women battled David Dwayne Watson for control and custody of Jordan Watson, two women who are both dead," Mosher said. "They were killed during those battles. First a custody battle, then a visitation battle. And as a result of their deaths, David Watson got exactly what he had been fighting for. His little girl."

Mosher said authorities tapped David's phone and allegedly heard him tell his friends that he knew where Linda's body was.

"He told his friends things like this, 'I know exactly where Linda Watson is. I can show you,'" Mosher said. '"People go missing in the desert all the time. Linda's gone and she'll never be found.'"

Mosher said David once owned the same kind of firearm, a 9mm Luger, linked to the deaths of Cox and Farnsworth.

"These murders were well-executed," Mosher said. "But the killer left some stuff behind. He made some mistakes. Five shell casings in the driveway from a 9 mm handgun and bullets in each of the victims. Two in Marilyn, one in her head and chest. One in Renee, in her chest."

David allegedly told authorities he sold the handgun to someone during his divorce from Linda. Mosher said Rosemary will testify that isn't true and that he kept the gun until after the shootings.


Linda Watson disappeared in August 2000.

Three years later, a body was found in the desert but authorities were not able to identify it.

Also in 2003, Cox and Farnsworth were shot and killed at Cox's home on the northwest side of Tucson.

In 2011, the body found in the desert was identified as Linda Watson.

David Watson was arrested in 2015. 

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