A man incarcerated in a California prison for murder has publicly confessed to killing two fellow inmates convicted of child molestation, writing to the San Jose Mercury News he “figured I’d just do everybody a favor.”
Jonathan Watson, 41, admitted in a letter obtained by the Mercury News and published on Thursday that he beat 48-year-old David Bobb and 62-year-old Graham De Luis-Conte with another inmate’s cane on Jan. 16.
The assault on the inmates, both of whom were serving life sentences for assaulting children under 14, came just one week after he was transferred to the California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility and State Prison in Corcoran.
Although he never referenced either inmate by name in his letter to the Mercury News, Watson said he was angered by “Molester No. 1,” who allegedly taunted other inmates by watching children’s programming in the prison dorm area.
“Being a lifer, I’m in a unique position where I sometimes have access to these people and I have so little to lose,” wrote Watson, in prison for a 2009 murder. “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.”
A day before the killings, Watson said that “a child molester” was moved into his “pod.” The individual began watching PBS Kids in view of the other inmates.
“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,” Watson wrote.
The next day, about two hours before the beatings, Watson informed a prison counselor he needed to be transferred before he “really [expletive deleted] one of these dudes up.”
The counselor “scoffed and dismissed me,” he said, after which time Watson returned to the dorm area.
“I was mulling it all over when along came Molester No. 1 and he put his TV right on PBS Kids again,” he wrote. “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.”
After concluding his attack, Watson went to find a guard to turn himself in and came upon the second man.
“As I got to the lower tier, I 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.”
When neither beating attracted prison officials, Watson continued to look for someone to confess to and eventually found a guard.
“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.”
The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation had no comment, citing an ongoing investigation.
Watson said he confessed to prison officials, giving them the same account that he detailed for the newspaper. He said he will plead guilty to both killings if the state charges him.
Citing the actions of officials regarding housing of prisoners, the Mercury News referenced a federal lawsuit filed last month by the family of another California inmate who was stabbed to death while in another prison. The family claimed their relative was mistakenly placed in a cell with a member of the Aryan Brotherhood who had killed another prisoner months previously.