On August 6, 2021, Emma Lou Presler threw gasoline on Devin Graham and Karissa Lindros, in a Houston, Texas home. They both suffered serious burns; Devin would succumb to his wounds.
Karissa Lindros and Devin Graham had been in a relationship. Together, they had 2 children together and Devin had a child from a previous relationship.
According to court documents, Frank Baratta was hanging out at Karissa Lindros’s house when Emma Presler and Devin Graham came into the house. Frank told police he had never met Presler before (he did not know her name) and that she and Devin were arguing in the living room. He left the immediate area and went to the kitchen.
While he was in the Kitchen, Frank smelled gas. He heard an explosion and saw flames coming from the living room. Frank ran outside and saw Devin and Karissa run outside; both were on fire. He grabbed a hose to help put the flames out on Devin and Karissa. Once medical helped arrived, Frank left.
A neighbor, identified as T. Crews, told police, around 9:35, Karissa ran to his house, asking for help. Karissa had told Crews that gasoline was thrown on her and then she was set on fire. He also reported that Karissa smelt of gasoline.
Jeff Wilson, another neighbor, told police he was outside when he heard an explosion and notice flames coming from 2046 Aspen Glade Drive. He heard a man screaming and went to investigate. He saw Devin screaming for help, stating that someone had tried to kill him. Jeff told news outlets that Devin was badly burned. “He did not have any clothes on, and his skin was just peeling. You could tell he was hurt badly because he was screaming his lungs out.”
Police and medics responded. The medics rushed the victims to the hospital. Devin told a Houston Fire Department medic that someone named “Emma” had thrown gasoline on him and set them on fire.
The hospital that Karissa had over 70% of her body covered in burns and Devin’s body was about 90% covered. Devin succumbed to his wounds on August 8, 2021, around 8:30pm. Court documents state his cause of death as complications from thermal injuries and the manner of death as homicide.
Police knew from witnesses that a white female was seen leaving the scene in a white four-door sedan and they had the name “Emma” from Devin. Devin’s family was asked if they knew what “Emma” Devin would have been referring to. His family told them they believed it was Emma Presler.
Police presented Frank with an array of photos. He identified Emma Presler as the women who set Karissa and Devin on fire.
Police went to speak to Karissa on August 16, 2021, to see if she could identify who had done this to her and Devin. Karissa could only communicate by nodding her head; she could not speak. Through a series of questions, police established that Karissa knew Presler for more than a year, that she kept a gas can in her garage, and that Emma was the one (and only person) who poured the gas on her. Court documents show, when police asked Karissa how the fire was set, she used her hand and “made the motion of a cigarette lighter”.
Emma Presler lived in Houstan Texas. She has a history of being arrested.
Presler was arrested on July 11, 2019, for the possession of a controlled substance and evading arrest. She was released on bond, which was revoked after she did not show up to a court date. She has been wanted since March 2021 for this crime.
In March 2020, police arrested Presler for stealing a jacket and debit card out of a Harris County Sheriff’s Officers car.
August 19, 2020, police accused of using a stolen credit card. Police arrested her for this offense on September 13, 2020. A judge gave her $1,000 bail, which she paid.
On September 15, 2020, police arrested Presler for murder. Investigators accused her of being the getaway driver for 4 people who shot into a house and killed a 20-year-old woman, Sierra Rhodd. (More on this below).
On August 26, 2021, Police charged Presler with Capital Murder by Terror Threat for the murder of Devin Graham.
The Murder of Sierra Rhodd
Sierra Rhodd lived with her parents and her 15-year-old brother in Northwest Harris County, Texas. Her brother had an ongoing issue with a neighborhood gang. It is unclear what the feud started over, but Crystal Rhodd, Sierra’s mother, told news outlets
On September 13, 2020, Presler was accused of being the getaway driver for her boyfriend and three others, after they shot indiscriminately into a home. Their target was her 15-year-old brother, who “had a feud with the crew.” Crystal Rhodd, Sierra’s mom, told news outlets that she contacted the police at least 17 times about the situation.
Sierra Rhodd, 20, was shot and killed while she was home sleeping. Her parents and brother were at home during the shooting but were unharmed. Police collected over 50 shell casings from the scene. One casing was traced to Andre Colson, 26. Colson was arrested and is being held on $80,000 bail.
Austin McCalla, 25, Xavier Fletcher, Jason Cisneros, and Emma Presler, were arrested in connection with the murder of Sierra.
Investigators arrested Presler after they found her in a vehicle they believed was used in the shooting. A judge dropped the charges against her, due to lack of probable cause. The judge stated there was not a clear connection between the red truck seen at the scene of the crime and the red truck that Presler was found in.
The other defendants are still going through the court process.
On September 18, 2020, a few hours after Sierra’s family held a vigil, her father, Mike Rhodd, was shot by his father-in-law. The father-in-law thought Mike was attacking him, so he shot, defending himself. After Mike was shot, his 15-year-old son pulled out a gun and shot, but did not injure anyone. Police did not charge anybody for Mike’s death.
Presler was arrested on August 26, 2021, for the murder of Devin Graham in Hempstead, Texas, and transferred to the Montgomery County Jail. She is currently going through court proceedings.