Convicted killer seeks new trial

Donald Huff’s fiancé died in motorcycle wreck

In June, a jury found Donald Huff, 54, guilty of felony murder in the death of his fiancé, Arlene Harding-Watts.

He was sentenced to 45 years in prison.

Harding-Watts, 46, died from massive injuries she sustained when the motorcycle the couple was riding skidded out of control and into a street sign near the intersection of Nacogdoches and Thousand Oaks.

Huff had been drinking and was initially arrested on intoxication manslaughter charges. The charges were upgraded to felony murder since this was Huff’s third drunken driving arrest.

During his trial in June, paramedic Scott Norman testified that he saw Huff move the woman’s body onto the motorcycle -- an attempt, prosecutors suggested, to make it appear that she was driving.

During a hearing on Huff’s motion for a new trial on Thursday, Norman repeated that testimony, telling the judge as he told the jury in June that he was the first emergency responder on the scene that night.

“He tried to put the deceased on the back of the motorcycle -- I’m assuming that he dragged her,” Norman said.

Huff's lawyers called San Antonio police Officer Mark Morales to testify during the hearing and he said that he -- not Norman -- was first on the scene.

“She was on the defendant’s knee,” Morales testified. “I did not see him drag the deceased anywhere.”

Morales did not testify during Huff’s trial and his lawyers said that the fact that the jury was deprived of that testimony was grounds for a new trial.

District Judge Sid Harle will review trial transcripts and rule on the motion for a new trial on Tuesday Nov. 19.

For a list of recent stories Paul Venema has done, click here.

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