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Inmate admits he killed two child molesters in prison

Jonathan Watson (California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation/Released)
February 21, 2020

A California inmate has confessed to beating two convicted child molesters to death with a cane last month in a public letter he wrote to a newspaper, saying he warned prison officials that he would attack the convicts but that prison officials ignored his warnings.

The 41-year old prisoner, Jonathan Watson, publicly confessed in a letter to the Bay Area News Group to killing David Bobb, 48, and Graham De Luis-Conti, 62. Both were serving life sentences for convictions of aggravated sexual assault involving children under the age of 14, the Associated Press reported.

Six days prior, Watson, who is already serving life in prison for a 2009 murder, had just transferred to California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility and State Prison, in Corcoran, which houses more than 5,400 inmates and specializes in substance-abuse treatment.

He warned that if he wasn’t transferred again to a new facility, he would attack his fellow inmates. Just hours before attacking both men, he told a counselor that the transfer request was “urgent.” In his letter, he wrote that his request was ignored.

After he killed the first inmate with another prisoner’s cane, Watson wrote that he was surprised by the lack of response from the guards. So, on the way to turn himself in, he passed by the other child molester, and began beating him.

“I figured I’d just do everybody a favor,” Watson wrote. “In for a penny, in for a pound.”

Watson even had to locate a guard and point out the bodies because prison authorities were unaware of either homicides, he wrote.

“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.”

Bobb died the day of the attack on Jan. 16 en route to a hospital, while De Luis-Conti died three days later on Jan. 19 in a hospital.

“We can’t comment on an active investigation,” a spokesman for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Dana Simas, wrote in an email response to the Associated Press.

Watson said he became infuriated when one of the child molesters put on children’s television programming. Watson added that he and other prisoners believed that the child molester was taunting them.

“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 Mercury News. “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 has yet to be charged with the killings, but is currently in segregated housing. In his letter, he warned he might kill more child molesters if he’s housed with them.

“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.”