LANSING, Mich., Dec. 7 2004 – LAWFUEL – First for law news – Convicted serial killer Coral Eugene Watts, who was slated to be released from prison in 2006, was sentenced this afternoon to life in prison for a 1979 first-degree murder, Attorney
General Mike Cox announced today.
“For our most heinous crimes, there is no statute of limitations,” Cox
said. “Today was a victory for justice, a victory for our criminal system,
and a victory for the memories of Watts’ victims. Coral Watts will never
again see the light of day as a free man.”
Watts was found guilty on November 17 stemming from the 1979 first-degree
murder of Helen Dutcher. Prior to the conviction, Watts had been serving a
60-year sentence in Texas after pleading guilty to aggravated burglary in
1982. When pleading in 1982, Watts confessed to killing 13 women to Texas and
Michigan authorities, including two victims from Michigan. In addition, Watts
is suspected of 26 murders and has claimed to have killed more than 80
Through unusual circumstances, credits for good behavior while in jail,
and automatic sentence reductions in the Texas parole system, Watts was
scheduled to be released in May 2006.
The murder conviction against Watts resulted from the resurfacing of an
eyewitness to Dutcher’s murder. In January, the eyewitness called the
Attorney General’s office the morning after Cox discussed the Watts case on a
national cable television show.