Two Men Arrested in Deadly House Fire, Burglary

Police say fire was set to conceal death of McKinney man

By Randy McIlwain
|  Wednesday, Nov 16, 2011  |  Updated 6:36 PM CDT
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McKinney police arrested Winfred Watkins and Christopher Graham for burglarizing a home then burning it down, killing a father of two.

Randy McIlwain, NBC 5 News

McKinney police arrested Winfred Watkins and Christopher Graham for burglarizing a home then burning it down, killing a father of two.

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McKinney police have arrested two men in connection with a deadly house fire and are looking for a third person.

Investigators say the fire was set to conceal the death of Stephen Cummins, whose parents own the house.

His parents were away at the time of the Oct. 26 fire.

Police said a neighbor tipped them that the Cumminses' van was seen driving away earlier that morning.

McKinney police detectives, Dallas police and the U.S. Marshal's Joint East Texas task force worked together and arrested Winfred Watkins and Christopher Graham.

Watkins is charged with burglary, and Graham faces charges of manslaughter, arson and burglary.

"We're confident that the actions of Graham on or about October 26th, 2011, precipitated the death of Stephen Cummins," McKinney police Assistant Chief Scott Brewer said.

Police are awaiting the results of toxicology reports to determine if Graham's charges could be upgraded to murder.

Investigators also continue to search for a third person who could provide more answers about the case.

Watkins and Graham had in their possession many antique items that were stolen two weeks ago from the Cummins home.

"That is a unique set of circumstances, that they were still in possession of that stolen property when we took them into custody," Brewer said.

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