Serial Killer to Stand Trial in 1974 Murder

A confessed serial killer (search), who last year received a life prison sentence for killing a woman in 1979, was ordered Tuesday to stand trial in a second Michigan killing.

A judge ruled there was enough evidence for Coral Eugene Watts (search), 51, to stand trial in the 1974 stabbing death of Gloria Steele (search), a 19-year-old college student.

An arraignment date for Watts wasn't immediately set following his preliminary examination.

Watts' attorney, Jeffrey Getting, argued there was not enough similarity between the other crimes and the Steele killing.

"The types of victims are different. ... Their ages are different, the locations where they were attacked is different, the types of weapons that were used is different. Everything is different," he said.

Prosecutors say they are bringing the case now to serve justice.

In the 1970s, Watts briefly attended Western Michigan University, where Steele was enrolled.

In December, a judge sentenced Watts to life in prison for the murder of Helen Dutcher in a Detroit suburb.

Before that, he had received immunity for 12 killings that he confessed to — 11 in Texas and one in Michigan — as part of a 1982 deal with Texas prosecutors. He was given a 60-year sentence for burglary with intent to murder, but mandatory release laws and an appeals court ruling lopped more than 35 years off his sentence.

Michigan authorities revived the Dutcher case in an effort to keep him behind bars.