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A Houston teenager, who prosecutors said was one of several shooters involved in the killing of a young woman last year, is now wanted for allegedly entering a man's home and setting him on fire, police said this week.
Emma Presler, 19, is wanted in connection with the death of 33-year-old Devin Graham, who died in a Houston hospital with severe burn wounds, the Houston Police Department said in a statement on Monday. Before his death, Graham was able to tell authorities that a woman intruder had entered his home on August 6, poured an unknown liquid on him, and lit him on fire.
"You could tell he was burned, bad. He did not have any clothes on, and his skin was just peeling," his neighbor, Jeff Wilson told ABC11, adding that he called 911 amid the chaos. "You could tell he was hurt badly because he was screaming his lungs out."
Karissa Lindros, 26, was also in the home at the time. She was transported to the hospital along with Graham but survived her injuries.
According to HPD Major Assaults & Family Violence Division Officers B. Godoy and J. Windham, witnesses reported to authorities that a white, four-door sedan was seen fleeing the area after the arson attack. Witnesses also saw a woman described as white and in her mid-to-late 20s.
The Houston Police Department said that further investigation led detectives to Presler and the filing of charges for her alleged role in the attack. The HPD did not indicate how Presler may have known Graham or Lindros, or any motive for the alleged attack.
Jodi Silva with the Houston Police told Oxygen.com that, as of Tuesday afternoon, Presler was still at large and wanted by police. A call placed to Officer Godoy on Tuesday was not immediately returned.
Kelly Blackburn, Trial Bureau Chief for the Montgomery County District Attorney’s office, told Oxygen.com by phone on Tuesday that Presler and Graham did know each other. He declined to reveal any of the details from what he indicated is a lengthy indictment against Presler. The teenager has lived all over East Texas, he said.
In September, Presler appeared in a Houston court in connection to the shooting into a home in the Cypress area of the city that left 20-year-old Sierra Rhodd dead. Rhodd, who had muscular dystrophy and lived in the home with her parents and teenage brother, Tanner Rhodd, was asleep when a group of people believed to be armed with at least a shotgun, pistol, and rifle opened fire on the family’s home. Tanner Rhode reportedly returned fire at the shooters as they sped off.
Rhodd's family told local news stations that they believed the shooters were targeting Tanner Rhodd, who had been having ongoing problems with a group of people; police had responded to the family's home before the killing because of the 15-year-old’s ongoing encounters with this group, Click2Houston reported in September.
By October, Harris County Sheriff's deputies had arrested 25-year-old Jason Cisneros Austin McCalla, also 25, and 19-year-old Xavier Fletcher in relation to the shooting, according to local station KHOU, which reported that Presler is McCalla's girlfriend, investigators said.
But in court in September, prosecutors were not able to make their case against Presler. Investigators said last year that they believed the shooters fled the scene in multiple vehicles, including a stolen motorcycle and a red pick-up truck.
Shortly after the shooting, Presler was found in a truck matching a description of one of the vehicles. The judge overseeing the case criticized prosecutors for not building a stronger case or bringing in any evidence tying Presler to Rhodd’s shooting death.
Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Presler is urged to contact the HPD Major Assaults & Family Violence Division at 713-308-8800 or Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.
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