2 Houston-area families tied by trauma as teen gets charged with murder

Briana Conner Image
Tuesday, August 24, 2021
2 families tied by trauma as teen gets charged with murder
Police say the teen is responsible for burning a man to death. She was originally charged with murder in connection to the death of a woman shot and killed as she slept.

KINGWOOD, Texas (KTRK) -- Houston police have identified the woman they believe went into a Kingwood home, threw gasoline on the couple inside, and then set them on fire.

Emma Presler, 19, is charged with murder. She was also charged with murder in the shooting death of a 20-year-old woman with cerebral palsy last year.

The charge was later dropped because a judge ruled there wasn't enough probable cause.

Emma Presler, 19, is charged with murder after a fire that killed a man and left his girlfriend critically injured. Police are looking for Presler.

Now, the families of those victims have been brought together by their trauma and their desire for the woman they believe is responsible for it to face justice.

The murder charge Presler is facing stems from the death of Devin Graham.

He and his girlfriend, Karissa Lindros, were flown to the medical center after a fire in early August.

Lindros' family said she has gone through several infections and surgeries throughout her recovery. She still has several more to go.

To make matters worse, she is having to do it all on her own.

Hospitals in the medical center aren't allowing visitors due to COVID-19. Lindros' aunt said her family is praying for healing and for justice.

"'Why?' is the biggest question? Why?" asked Lisa Sherlock.

She said it's still hard to fathom what happened to her niece inside her home. However, the formal murder charges filed Monday against Presler gave Sherlock a small sense of relief.

"We actually have a name now, and a face, of who did this," she said.

Presler is accused of killing Graham and causing the critical burns that Lindros is fighting to recover from.

"Devin has three children who will now have to grow up without a father," said Sherlock. "[Lindros] is fighting every day of her life to come back to her little girls, her sisters, her mother, and to our family."

Sherlock said Presler knew her niece. She also knows this isn't the first time she's been charged with murder.

"I wake up and think about it. I go to sleep and think about it. I have nightmares," said Krystalee Rhodd.

In September 2020, Rhodd's 20-year-old daughter, Sierra, was shot and killed in her bed.

Presler was accused of being the getaway driver, but a magistrate judge decided there wasn't enough evidence to make the charge stick.

READ MORE: No probable cause found to charge teen with murder of woman shot in her sleep

"I thought it was a failure of the system, definitely," said the mom, who still blames Presler for her daughter's death.

"These monsters took her from me, and it just... I think that they all need to be in jail for it, including [Presler]."

Meanwhile, authorities are still looking for Presler. Both families said they want to see her arrested.

"Oh God, please, if you know where she is, if you know anything about where she's staying, please, please come forward," Sherlock said. "Karissa and Devin did not deserve this."

"My heart goes out to them," said Rhodd. "I know how it feels. I'm just sorry we didn't get justice the first time, or this wouldn't have happened."

One family is dealing with regret, while another is sensing a bit of relief.

However, there are still major concerns for Lindros. Her family has set up a GoFundMe to raise money for medical bills and her daughters, who were left with nothing after the fire.

Sherlock said the bills are already coming in, and the family would be grateful for anything people may be able to give.

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.