Police arrest woman in Kingwood murder
Emma Presler, a 19-year-old woman, has been charged with murder after authorities ruled a house fire that left one dead and another injured was intentional. The incident happened around 10 p.m. Aug. 6 at a home on Aspen Glade Drive near Northpark Drive. Devin Graham, 33, was set on fire in his home and later died. Karissa Lindros, 26, was also burned and is in serious condition. Presler was arrested in Waller County Aug. 25. She is in the Montgomery County Jail. Presler was previously charged with murder in Sept. 2020 after a 20-year-old was shot and killed as she slept in her bed. Charges were later dropped.
Commander L.J. Baimbridge of the Houston Police Department’s Kingwood Station updated the Kingwood Service Association (KSA) Public Safety Committee at its Aug. 11 meeting on the status of what is now a likely murder that occurred in a North Woodland Hills home Aug. 6. At the time it happened it was treated by the HPD, the fire department and local Houston TV stations as a house fire with two, critically burned victims. However, since then one victim has died and HPD is now investigating it as a homicide. As of this writing, the other victim remains in critical condition.
“As you are all aware, last Friday evening we had an incident where two individuals were in a home, and someone doused them with gasoline and set them on fire. It was very horrific. They were both rushed to the medical center, one by Life Flight. He later died. That’s what makes this a homicide,” Baimbridge said and emphasized the investigation is something the HPD is working very hard to solve.
“We have a pretty good idea of who the suspect is. [Police have since identified the suspect which was not public at the time of the meeting.] This was not a random act,” he said. HPD believes there may have been some drug activity going on at the house. However, Baimbridge did not want to get into the details at this point without knowing for sure that the suspect and the activity were the basis behind the crime.
“We did have a number of reports at the house for various things,” he said and noted some of HPD’s “known actors” had been involved in that location. “So, it seems pretty likely that this was one of those high-risk lifestyles that resulted in this; something to do with drugs and money, which is more often than not the case,” Baimbridge said.
The major assaults unit is working the case instead of the homicide division because they were assigned the case and already working on it before the victim died. As a result, it is continuing to handle it at the present time.
“They do have a suspect, a female, which is unusual, and also another male, so hopefully we will get them. We know who they are and hopefully we can get charges on them and get them into custody soon. I wanted to pass that on because I know people are obviously concerned whenever we have a homicide in Kingwood,” Baimbridge said.
On a more positive note, Bainbridge advised that Officer Sam Cleveland, who was critically wounded in the line of duty in Kingwood July 5, is now at home recovering and doing well, although it will still be a long recovery. He thanked Ray Rhodes of the committee for offering to remove a tree stump in Cleveland’s yard and explained when they were arranging to do it, a group of firemen appeared with a stump grinder and made quick work of it. Both Baimbridge and Cleveland wanted to pass their thanks on to Rhodes and the rest of the Kingwood community for all the support he and his family have received since the shooting.
Baimbridge also raised the issue of traffic safety around Kingwood High School, especially when school is getting out in the afternoon now that school has started. He announced actions the HPD is preparing to take as a result. He explained he knows he is new to Kingwood and last year when he arrived, it was a “COVID year” during which the traffic was not nearly as bad as now, but it is an issue that needs more attention now.
“I was shocked when I came into it the other day and wondered what was going on. We will have the ticket books out and ready to go,” Baimbridge said. One of the big issues he saw besides the heavy traffic and the high speeds near the school was what HPD calls “blocking the box” at the intersection of Kingwood Drive and West Lake Houston Parkway, especially during that period of the day.
“It’s where everybody wants to get through and they keep blocking traffic and no one can move. So, we are going to do some enforcement,” Baimbridge said.
“So spread the word, don’t block the box. You won’t be getting a ticket if you do, but most of the ones I saw doing it the other day were students. We need to get that message out because it creates havoc for everyone,” he said.
In other business, Dee Price of Sand Creek provided a proposed public safety committee budget for 2022 she had put together for village associations to review. She explained it is essentially unchanged in its overall amount from the last two years and allows for flexibility in projects such as high school “Shattered Dreams” sponsorship if those programs are produced by either Kingwood Park or Kingwood high schools. Once finalized in the September committee meeting, it will be submitted for approval by the KSA board of directors as part of the KSA budget for 2022 in its October quarterly meeting.
The next Public Safety Committee Meeting is scheduled for Wednesday., Sept. 8 at 7 p.m. at the South Woodland Hills Community Room. The public is invited to attend. Due to the current COVID-19 situation, you are encouraged to call the Kingwood Association Management office at 281-358-5192 a day or two prior to confirm if the meeting is still scheduled as planned or will take place as a Zoom teleconference.