A Georgia teen was sentenced to life in prison on Friday, more than a year after an argument over the WiFi password resulted in him strangling his older sister to death.
The Macon Judicial Circuit District Attorney announced in a statement that prosecutors presented evidence showing that Kevon Watkins, then 16, had changed the Internet password on February 2, 2018, because other people in the home were slowing it down. A heated argument ensued between the teen and his mother—leading Alexus Watkins, 20, to step in as it appeared it could turn physical.
Prosecutors said the mother called the police when she couldn’t separate the pair, who had fell to the floor.
“Evidence and testimony showed Kevon placed his sister in a chokehold and held her there for an estimated 15 minutes. One of the deputies testified Kevon Watkins still had a hold on his sister when he arrived, 10 minutes after their mother’s 911 call,” the statement read.
Alexus Watkins was hospitalized and pronounced dead from asphyxiation the following morning.
Kevon Watkins waived his right to a jury trial and had Bibb Superior Court Judge Verda M. Colvin hear his case. According to The Macon Telegraph, mother Latoya Watkins testified that Kevon Watkins was in a bad mood when she picked him up from school that day and that Alexus Watkins had intervened when she thought he was going to hit her.
However, Colvin noted that Latoya Watkins’ claims before her son was charged with murder differed from her testimony on the stand. The judge said the mother testified that Alexus Watkins was “trying to stand up for her”—but the 911 call she placed didn’t identify her daughter as the aggressor, the news outlet reported.
Latoya Watkins was unaware that her 13-year-old son had called 911 minutes after she did. He told the dispatcher how his older brother had his sister in a chokehold and that he was threatening his mom as she tried to separate them.
The Telegraph reported that Kevon Watkins told investigators that he argued with his sister on a daily basis.
The now-18-year-old is eligible for parole despite his felony murder conviction. Before handing down the life sentence, Colvin apologized to Kevon Watkins that he was never equipped with the tools to cope with his volatile home life.
“I’m sorry,” the teen said before hysterically crying, unable to provide a statement.
The judge responded, “I think everyone understands. Including this court.”
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[Featured image: Kevon Watkins/Macon Judicial Circuit District; Alexus Watkins/Facebook]