Christine Susan Munro's murder went unsolved for 25 years

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Christine Susan Munro
Christine Susan Munro
| Credit: Redding Police Department

A 43-year-old Texas man will be sentenced to three life sentences next month after pleading guilty this week to the 1995 murder of California nurse Christine Susan Munro.

On Monday, James Watkins pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in the stabbing death of the 37-year-old mother of four.

Watkins, who was 17 at the time of the killing, will be sentenced on August 25, "and will receive three life sentences without the possibility of parole," confirms a statement from the Shasta County District Attorney's Office.

The statement adds that "Munro has three surviving children," and that "they were all consulted" prior to the plea agreement "and are pleased with the resolution of the case."

Under the terms of his plea deal, Watkins waived all of his appeal rights.

Munro's murder went unsolved for 25 years. Watkins was arrested in late 2020 after DNA evidence linked him to the abduction and killing.

Munro vanished while out for a run along the Sacramento River Trail.

James Watkins
James Watkins
| Credit: Redding Police Department

Authorities said that Watkins hid, waiting for Munro to approach before ambushing her.

Investigators allege Munro was robbed and sexually assaulted by Watkins.

Her body was found on June 24, 1995.

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Watkins was serving a 14-year sentence for robbery in a state prison in Texas when the DNA match came back.

A judge had ordered Watkins to stand trial in March.

A different man came forward in 1997 claiming he was Munro's killer, but investigators said he was fabricating the confession and ruled him out as a suspect.