By LeaAnne Klentzman
During a Thanksgiving family gathering, a brother protecting his sister was shot and killed. His murderer, Durell Watts, has been convicted and sentenced to prison.
On November 23, 2010 a family who lives in the Mission Bend area had gathered to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday. During the celebration Courtney Wilson, 21, took exception to his brother-in-law’s behavior toward his sister. A disturbance broke out between the two men. Fort Bend sheriff’s deputies responded to the disturbance/shooting call at about 9 p.m., that night. Courtney Wilson was shot in the neck by his brother-in-law, 25 year old Durell Watts. Initially Watts fled the area but later turned himself in.
Recently, in a trail before 434th District Judge Jim Shoemake a jury sentenced Durell Noal Watts to 60 years in prison after convicting him of murder. According to Assistant District Attorney Celena Vinson, “Courtney Wilson, a 21-year old Lamar University student and football player, returned home for the Thanksgiving holidays during November 2010.” Wilson was at the Mission Bend home for the holidays and to visit his sister and nephews.
According to testimony, Watts had a history of physically abusing Wilson’s sister Ashley. When Watts ordered the younger man from the home, he refused fearing for his sister. Vinson said, “Watts then retrieved a loaded .40 caliber pistol from a nearby closet, returned to the kitchen, and again told Courtney to leave. Courtney again refused to abandon his sister and nephews, so Watts pointed his gun at him.” As Wilson took a step forward, Watts shot him in the neck, hitting a major artery – killing Wilson.
Watts was tried for Wilson’s murder and testimony was given as to Watt’s continued aggressive behavior, both toward Wilson, his sister, and eventually toward inmates at the jail as well as jailers.
“Courtney was a loving brother and son who lost his life protecting someone else’s,” said Vinson. “The jury’s verdict ensures that Courtney did not die in vain and that the defendant cannot harm anyone else.”
Watts was tried in the 434th District Court before Presiding Judge James H. Shoemake. Assistant District Attorneys Celena Vinson and Jill Stotts prosecuted the case. Attorney Tyrone Moncrieffe represented the defendant.