Race Allegations Upset Murder Victim's Family - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Race Allegations Upset Murder Victim's Family

Donna DeFelippo was white; Johnny Watts was black. On the day of the shooting, the mother of suspected gunman Justin Meyer told a newspaper reporter that her son was upset his child was living with DeFelippo and a black man.

But turning this tragedy into a race issue has upset Johnny Watts' family. On the day of Watts' funeral, the family talked to us.

Meyer described her son, Justin, "as a devoted loving father who loved his son more than his own life."

But Johnny Watts' family wonders what kind of love could have driven Meyer to kill DeFelippo and Watts.

"Nobody knows what color God is, so how can you judge anybody by the color of their skin? It's by the content of their character is what you should look for, and that's what we look for," Watts' sister Toshja said. "It makes you angry, it makes you look angry that someone out there would do that based on the skin color."

Toshja Watts says her baby brother Johnny was murdered because of the color of his skin and because of Justin Meyer's uncontrollable rage. Watts says last week's newspaper story didn't accurately portray her 25-year-old brother.

"They didn't say anything about my brother or who he was, so we felt we had to let the people know who he was and what he was all about."

Watts was the youngest of four children and the only boy. Before his funeral, his family and friends met at his mother's Gulfport home. They showed off T-shirts they had made that remember Watts.

"He was just well liked, that's all I can say, he was just well liked, and I would just like to send my sympathy of this tragedy to all the families," his mother, Ella, said.

Toshja Watts says her brother began dating Donna DeFelippo about six months ago and he adored her two sons.

"They loved to be around each other. They'd go places and they'd do things. It was just starting up, and him and Donna, when they got those two boys he felt like he was complete."

Watts' uncle wonders what will happen to DeFelippo's two children.

"That's the bottom line. They've been deprived of a family and what's going to happen to them?"

At the Forrest Heights Missionary Baptist Church, grieving relatives and friends reached out to each other for comfort. Inside the packed church, they said goodbye to a man who died far too young.

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