CORONA, CA – We can all agree that child molesters are probably among the worst types of criminals. Adults who take advantage of our most vulnerable and defenseless are on a whole other level as far as depravity goes.
Showing that there is even honor among thieves, Jonathan Watson imposed his own brand of justice on two child molesters in a California prison.
Please make no mistake, we are not advocating an “eye for an eye” mentality, because even the Bible tells us that this has been misinterpreted. However, with that being said, sometimes justice is a dish best served cold.
On Jan. 16, Watson, who is serving a life sentence for murder allegedly killed two convicted child molesters at the California Abuse Treatment Facility and State Prison in the central California city of Corcoran. In a letter to the Mercury News, Watson confessed that he had done exactly that.
Ironically the incident occurred mere hours after Watson had warned a prison counselor that he might become violent. Watson told the counselor that the request was “urgent” and indicated that he would likely attack another inmate soon.
The first attack occurred when Watson became angry that one of the sex offenders was watching a children’s television show. He attacked David Bobb, 48, with another inmates cane. Bobb died later that day.
Watson said that after the first attack, he was surprised that there was an apparent lack of response from the guards at the facility, so he singled out a second “child trafficker” and began to beat him, also with a cane. Apparently, guards were unaware of either attack until Watson himself led them to the scene, he wrote.
The second inmate, Graham De Luis-Conti, 62, died three days later from his injuries. Watson had only been transferred to that facility just one week prior.
Dana Simas, a spokesperson for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation declined to comment on Watson’s account of the incident, saying that the investigation was ongoing.
Last month, prison officials had identified Watson as the attacker in the Jan. 16 killings, saying that he had “attacked two inmates with a weapon…causing multiple head wounds to both victims.” Both men were serving life sentences for convictions of aggravated sexual assault involving children under the age of 14, according to prison officials.
The incident remains under investigation, despite Watson’s apparent confession to both killings.
In the letter, Watson noted that he had his security classification lowered, from Level III to Level II, which prompted his transfer from a single-person cell to dorm-style living at the Corcoran facility. Watson was unhappy about the transfer and called it a “careless” mistake by the prison, also indicating that he left “quite a paper trail” protesting the move.
Six days after moving to Corcoran, Watson noted that a “child molester” moved into his pod. Neither Bobb or Luis-Conti are mentioned by name, but he said the man—referred to as “Molester#1—began watching PBS Kids in full view of other inmates, which Watson and others in the pod took as a taunt.
That night, Watson wrote:
“I could not sleep having not done what every instinct told me I should’ve done right then and there, so I packed all of my things because I knew one way or another the situation would be resolved the following day.”
In his discussion with the prison counselor the next day, Watson requested a transfer back to Level III “before I really (expletive) one of these dudes up” but that the counselor “scoffed and dismissed me.”
Apparently, this is not a new development in the California corrections world.
Last month, the family of an inmate who was murdered by his cellmate filed a federal lawsuit against CDCR, alleging that officials at High Desert State Prison placed Rodney DeLong in a cell with an Aryan Brotherhood member who had murdered another inmate only months earlier.
That inmate ended up stabbing DeLong to death within a half-hour after being placed in the cell with him.
The lawsuit claimed that DeLong—identified in prison records as an “enemy’ of the Aryan Brotherhood– should never have been placed in the same cell as a member of that group.
LET has a private home for those who support emergency responders and veterans called LET Unity. We reinvest the proceeds into sharing untold stories of those patriotic Americans. Click to check it out.
In the case of Watson, he gave clear indications that he might turn violent, which should have been a red flag to officials, according to Joshua Mason, a gang expert and legal consultant who was formerly incarcerated.
“This guy should have never been housed with those people, and that’s common laymen knowledge,” Mason said. “He told them, ‘I can’t be housed here,’ and that’s admirable. That’s a deviation from normal prison general population behavior…The culture is, if you’re uncomfortable, do something about it. The fact that he did seek out the administration shows he was just trying to do his time.”
Watson continued in his letter, saying that after warning the counselor he might turn violent, he returned to his pod:
“I was mulling it all over when along came Molester #1 and he put his TV right on PBS Kids again,” he wrote. “But this time, someone else said something to the effect of, ‘Is this guy really going to watch this right in front of us?’ and I recall saying, ‘I got this.’ And I picked up the cane and went to work on him.”
After killing Bobb, Watson said he left the pod to find a guard to turn himself in. While on the way to find the guard, he ran into the second “victim” and decided to kill him as well:
“As I got to the lower tier, I saw a known child trafficker, and I figured I’d just do everybody a favor,” Watson wrote. “In for a penny, in for a pound.”
Watson probably figured he was already in for life, had already killed one child molester so he had nothing to lose by killing a second. No death penalty in California so nothing to lose.
Unbelievably, neither of the killings drew any attention from prison staff, so Watson said he approached an officer to confess what he had done.
“I told him, ‘I’ve got some pretty bad news,’ to which he ironically replied, ‘You’re not going to hit me with that cane are you?’” Watson wrote. “So after jesting for a moment, knowing this might be the last decent moment that I have for a long time, I told him what I’d just done, which he also didn’t believe until he looked around the corner and saw the mess I’d left in the dorm area.”
Watson said that after he was detained for the killings, he gave prison officials a full confession, “detailing the situation as I just did for you.”
Watson readily admitted his guilt in both killings and said that he would plead guilty if taken to court. He also insinuated that he might kill again if he was housed with child molesters down the road.
The letter was written in response to a request made for a phone interview by Mercury News. Watson explained that he could only communicate by mail, because the prison has restricted his phone privileges and placed him in segregated housing in response to the killings.
“Being a lifer, I’m in a unique position where I sometimes have access to these people and I have so little to lose,” Watson wrote.
In a rare display of empathy by a prison inmate, especially one in for murder, Watson also added:
“And trust me, we get it, these people are every parents’ worst nightmare. These familys (sic) spend years carefully and articulately planning how to give their children every opportunity that they never had, and one monster comes along and changes that child’s trajectory forever.”
Child molesters being targeted in prison is not a new phenomenon. Even among prisoners, there is a code that children are off limits.
Robert Hood is a retired prison warden who spent three years in charge of the federal Supermax prison in Florence, Colorado. He notes that it is no secret that child molesters are routinely and frequently targeted in prison, however due to the high number of inmates with sex convictions, it is difficult to find places where they can be safe.
“With the division that occurs between white collar criminals, drug addicts, different gangs and all that, the one magnet that pulls them all together truly is the sex offender,” Hood told the Mercury News. “I’m not trying to sound like a bleeding heart here, but the chemistry we put people into in certain prison environments is not healthy for anyone—especially the person at the bottom of the totem pole, which is the sex offender.”
“An eye for an eye…” Sometimes it seems like maybe the right thing to do.
Enforcement Today? With so much “stuff” happening in the world on social media, it’s easy for things to get lost.
Make sure you click “following” and then click “see first” so you don’t miss a thing! (See image below.) Thanks for being a part of the LET family!