Tabitha Sandoval, of Shawnee, said she and Cindy Watson were friends, having met through work at a clothing store at Shawnee Mall.
Sandoval said Watson was a good mother who took her children everywhere she went.
"She was always taking them to the park and doing kid things with them,” Sandoval said. "Her kids were her life.”
The Watsons were married in July 2004 and were getting a divorce, court records show.
They agreed to joint custody of their children.
Cindy Watson filed a protective order against William Watson in March 2008, but filed for its early dismissal in April 2009 so they could exchange children under joint custody, according to court records.
William Watson pleaded guilty in August to violating the order in March 2009 and received a two-year term of unsupervised probation as part of a deferred sentence.
STAFF WRITER ANN KELLEY