CORCORAN, Calif. – Last month two convicted child molesters died following a fellow inmate’s attack with a walking cane at a central California prison. Now, the inmate accused of beating them to death has confessed in a letter that he committed the crimes just hours after his urgent warning to a counselor that he might become violent. According to the letter, his plea was not taken seriously.
Jonathan Watson, 41, confessed in the letter to The Mercury News in Northern California that he clubbed both men on the head Jan. 16 at the California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility and State Prison in Corcoran.
Prisoner David Bobb, 48, died that day. Graham De Luis-Conti, 62, died three days later at a hospital. Both were serving life sentences for aggravated sexual assault of a child under 14, Law Officer reported.
“We can’t comment on an active investigation,” Dana Simas, spokesman for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, wrote in an email.
Watson is serving a life sentence for a 2009 murder conviction. Currently, there have been no additional charges filed against him, according to The Mercury News.
Days before the attack, he said his security classification was changed. As a result, he was transferred from a single-person cell to a lower-security dormitory pod at the Central Valley facility. The man previously convicted for murder and now accused of two more homicides called the switch a “careless” mistake. Moreover, he claims that he disagreed with the decision, saying he left “quite a paper trail” of grievances protesting it.
Watson wrote that six days after he arrived at the prison, a convicted child molester moved into the pod. Watson believed the man began taunting other inmates by watching children’s television programming. In the letter, Watson claimed restlessness. “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.”
Two hours before the attacks the next day, Watson told a prison counselor that he urgently needed to be transferred back to higher-level security “before I really (expletive) one of these dudes up.” Nevertheless, the counselor “scoffed and dismissed” him, according to the letter.
Watson said 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, according to the news organization. “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.”
Watson said he then left the housing pod to find a guard and turn himself in, but on the way, he 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 said he then told a guard, who didn’t believe him “until he looked around the corner and saw the mess I’d left in the dorm area,” Watson wrote.
He said after being detained for the murders, he gave prison officials a full confession, “detailing the situation as I just did for you.”
Watson is in segregated housing while he is under investigation for the homicides that have yet to result in new charges.
- AIRLINE PASSENGER WITNESS SICK TEXT MESSAGE ABOUT CHILD MOLESTATION; PERPETRATOR GETS 15 YEAR PRISON SENTENCE
“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. “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.”
Watson said he will plead guilty to both killings if the state takes him to court —and hinted that he may try to kill again if he is housed with child molesters in the future.