Woman charged in Durham firefighter’s slaying

Jun. 24, 2014 @ 04:41 PM

A grand jury has indicted a woman in the 2012 slaying of a retired Durham firefighter.

Crystal Brandi Fox is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Donnie Watson, 74. Watson was found dead on July 9, 2012, in a bedroom of his home at 4424 Regis Ave.

An autopsy found that he died of “homicidal blunt force trauma to the head.” The report said he had multiple cuts to his scalp and face and a large skull facture.

Fox, 41, is serving a sentence of 19 to 33 months in the North Carolina Correctional Institution for Women for probation violation and possession or distribution of a methamphetamine precursor (a chemical used to make the drug).

Assistant District Attorney Roger Echols declined to say what evidence led to Monday’s indictment. Echols said he wouldn’t rule out more indictments, adding that the case is still being investigated by Durham police.

He cited “good police work” in producing the charge against Fox.

According to the autopsy report, there were no signs of entry to Watson’s home, and there was a trail of blood from the door through the hallway into the bedroom. The report said a heavy crystal candlestick was found on the floor and a glass table near the bedroom was partially shattered.

Watson was with the Durham Fire Department for 33 years as a firefighter and captain. He retired in 1992 and started a towing company.