Jonathan Watkins Responds to The Arrest of The Man Who Murdered Jonylah

Last week seemed to be a good week for justice.  Mario McNeill was found guilty of murdering Shaniya Davis, and a suspect was arrested in the shooting death of six-month-old Jonylah Watkins.  Above is the long version of the press conference called earlier last week with Jonathan Watkins and the Reverend Corey Brooks responding to the arrest of Koman Willis.  When I say long version, I mean that it is about 23 minutes long.

Judy Watkins, Jonylah’s mother, did not speak at the conference.  At the last minute, she decided not to attend.  It is all too fresh for her, and she is still coming to terms with her baby’s death.  As Reverend Brooks indicated, “Judy wants to go on with her life and get past it.”   I would not be surprised that Jonylah was the main reason why she married Jonathan, thus legally clarifying their relationship, as Jonathan reportedly has two other children out of wedlock.  Upon the news that Willis was apprehended last Monday, she and Jonathan and other close friends and family spent the afternoon at Jonylah’s grave.

When couples are struck by the death of a child—and it doesn’t matter if it was violent death or not—there is a high probability that they will divorce, but it is by no means certain.  In the case of the Watkinses, their daughter was at the center of their lives.   Now what?  People have recovered from grief, and have gone on to have more children and a more balanced life.  They have to take one day at a time, expect the craziness to die down eventually.   And they might need therapy.   Too bad Jonylah did not live to see the shift in her father’s behavior.  All this could have been avoided, but Jonathan was also still wedded to the street life as well as to his family.   Since the shooting, however, Jonathan Watkins has renounced being a hustler/weed dealer, and has been walking the straight and narrow.  He has gotten a minimum wage job, and he is working on obtaining his G.E.D.

The 28-year-old wore jeans and a grey blazer Tuesday as he told reporters he’s changed his life since Jonylah’s death. Tattoos highlighted the neck of the ex-gang member, who said he got out of that life nearly a decade ago.

“It’s been rough for me and my wife [Judy],” Watkins said at a Tuesday news conference at New Beginnings Church. “It changed my life. I don’t stand on the corner anymore. I got a job.”

“I know my baby’s up there looking down on me.”

The suspected killer was known in the neighborhood as someone that you didn’t mess with.  Apparently, though, Watkins thought that he could get away with doing just that.

Willis, who goes by the name “Ko Killer” on the street, has a criminal record that includes 38 arrests dating back to 1998.

He was charged with attempted murder of a police officer with a firearm in 2002. Willis plead guilty to aggravated assault and other lesser charges in that case and was sentenced to three years in the Illinois Department of Corrections.

Reverend Brooks managed to deflect any speculative questions about the nature of the relationship between Willis and Watkins, as well as whether Watkins actually stole the Sony Playstation from Willis’ home.  No matter; more of this sad story will come out at the trial later.

~ by blksista on June 2, 2013.

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