Detective’s Memory Is Hazy After 15 Years
The detective who investigated the three seemingly linked murders of Linda Watson in 2000 and her mother, Marilyn Cox and her friend Renee Farnsworth in 2003 testified in Pima County Superior Court Thursday he didn’t follow up on many leads in the initial investigation.
Linda Watson disappeared from her westside home on August 20, 2000 during an ugly custody battle with former Tucson Fire Department Captain, David Dwayne Watson, age 47. Three years later, Cox and Farnsworth were fatally shot on Cox’s driveway during a long legal battle over grandparent visitation.
Detective Montano was called to the witness stand by defense attorneys Michael W Storie and Natasha Wrae to recount the details of his investigation the night Cox and Farnsworth were murdered.
Montano arrived at the scene of 2625 W. Curtis Road at 9:20 p.m. and another deputy explained that two women were shot and the shooter proceeded to duck and run into the woods. Montano said his duty that night was to conduct a few interviews and work on the driveway.
In a photograph shown to the courtroom, Farnsworth’s body was covered, but her foot was sticking out of the plastic bag revealing she was wearing brown sandals. Surrounding her body was many footprints from different shoe impressions.
Storie asked Montano to recall which shoe type the first responders were wearing and he said that he didn’t think it was important to take note of that, which according to Storie, is against investigation protocol.
Skipping forward 22 days after the shooting, a money clip with Dave Watson’s initials engraved into it was found on top of the gravel in plain sight in the backyard.
“I do not know how well the backyard was searched that night,” Montano said. “But I went back to that area several times to walk up and down the ally ways to see where the shooter could have ran to and never saw that clip.”
In the final moments of Storie’s questioning, he asked Montano to recall any suspicious cars. He remembers hearing eight mechanics were eating their dinner outside when they noticed one silver Cadillac waiting down the road with three Hispanics inside. After the mechanics heard gunshots, the car raced off.
Prosecutor Jonathan Mosher objected claiming Montano never spoke to the mechanics and the car raced off in the dangerous neighborhood forty minutes before the two women were killed.
Mosher also added that a purse with $200 and car keys were found on the scene and asked Montano if a shooting without a burglary was typical for the neighborhood.
“No,” Montano said. “That’s why the double homicide stood out in my mind.”
The trial is currently on day 13 having already heard from Watson’s second ex-wife who retracted her previous alibi and 20-year-old daughter who doesn’t remember much of what her life was like when her mother was still alive.
The trail is expected to continue tomorrow as Watson pleaded not guilty to three counts of first-degree murder.
Pima County Superior Court Judge Richard S Fields is presiding over this trial and reduced Watson’s bond from $2 million to $900,000.