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Baby killer takes coward's way out

web posted August 30, 2007
OPINION – After four years in the Edgefield County Detention Center Devin Antoine Watson, 26, copped a plea agreement on Wednesday to avoid being put to death for the murder of his own 13-month old son. Watson is awaiting a sentencing hearing on September 10 at the Edgefield County Courthouse that is said to carry a possible sentence of between 15 to 30 years in prison. Watson is a coward and once he refused to plea a deal offered on Monday, he should have been forced to face trial.

According to police reports 13-month old Darrell Watson was rushed to the Edgefield County Hospital after he stopped breathing on August 5, 2003. He suffered from severe bruising “over the child’s entire body as well as a severe burn-type scar on the left arm”. At the time, Mary Dey, the boy’s mother, claimed that the burn was from Mr. Watson taking the child and trying to run water over him “because he wasn’t breathing” and, “the father (Watson) mistakenly ran hot water over the child instead of cold water,” which resulted in the burn. Doctors and investigators did not believe the story and believed the burn was from a household iron.

Young Darrell died from the injuries he suffered in the abuse.

Watson and Dey, at the time of the murder being 22 and 17 respectively, were both arrested and charged with murder by child abuse. What was even more disturbing in the case was Ms. Dey was just 15 years old when then 20-year-old Devin Watson fathered the doomed child. How Watson escaped statutory rape charges at the time is unknown.

However, to know that Devin Watson will be able to walk out of prison at some time in his life is a tragic miscarriage of justice. Watson deserves to die for the ongoing torture he inflicted on his own infant son that resulted in his death.

Those who commit such heinous crimes should not be allowed to “plea bargain” for reduced time. They should have to face a jury of their peers and, if found guilty, should be expeditiously executed. That is a far better fate than Watson and Dey gave to their own infant son.

Young Darrell Watson has no one to speak for him during this period. The very parents that were charged to love, care, and protect him were the ones who brutalized, or allowed the torture, of him his entire short life.

One cannot imagine the feelings young Darrell had as he was brutalized by those he instinctively loved. We look at infants and smile as they represent the purest form of innocence. How disturbed and confused young Darrell must have been as those he looked to protect him beat him to death.

Though the negotiations between the Solicitor’s Office and Watson’s attorney reached an estimated sentence of 15 to 30 years, the judge is not bound by the agreement. Watson was advised of that fact before agreeing to plead guilty.

It is our hope that the presiding judge ignores the ridiculous suggestion of Devin Watson ever walking free after admitting to murdering his own infant son. We hope the sentence places him in prison for the rest of his natural life with no possibility of parole. It is a pity that a jury was not able to provide the proper sentence, death.

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