Monday, November 30, 2009

Trial set for dad accused of slaying wife in front of son (Aurora, Colorado)

It seems that dad MATTHEW WATKINS stabbed his wife to death in front of his 5-year-old son, as the boy was later able to tell investigators about the incident. A 3-year-old daughter was also at home at the time.

Trial set for man accused of slaying wife in front of son
The Aurora Sentinel
Published: Sunday, November 29, 2009 9:06 PM MST

AURORA An Aurora man accused of killing his wife last year in front of the couple’s son is set to go on trial in February, more than two years since his wife’s slaying.

Matthew Watkins, 41, appeared in Arapahoe County District Court in Centennial last week where a judge scheduled his first-degree murder trial for Feb. 1, according to court records. The trial is scheduled to last seven days.

Watkins’ case has moved slowly in recent months.

His defense team, citing concerns about his competency to stand trial, asked that a hearing in April be delayed and that the judge wait to schedule a trial date.

State doctors deemed Watkins fit to stand trial, but his lawyers have disagreed with the ruling.

A spokeswoman for the district attorney’s office said the delay last spring was designed to give Watkins’ defense team more time to investigate his competency and seek a second opinion.

Watkins has been in jail since police arrested him in the hours after his wife was stabbed to death last year at the couple’s home on South Helena Street in Aurora.

He could face life in prison without the possibility of parole if convicted of the Jan. 21, 2008 stabbing of his wife, Cora Watkins, 31.

Police say Watkins stabbed his wife while in the kitchen of the family’s home. The couple’s two children, ages 3 and 5, were home at the time of the slaying, police said.

Prosecutors say Watkins’ children are with a family member.

In an arrest affidavit, police said Watkins’ 5-year-old son described to investigators how his father used a knife to stab his mother.

Matthew Watkins told a friend that he thought his son might have seen him stab his wife. The friend convinced Matthew Watkins to call police, who showed up a few minutes later and arrested him.