Lawrence Watts bound over for trial on first degree murder charge

Monday, September 29th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

The Watts name is one the most famous names in Eufaula. The brother of former US Representative JC Watts, Lawrence Watts was in court Monday.

He's facing a first-degree murder charge, after turning himself in to authorities the day a body was discovered in the parking lot of his Eufaula business.

News on 6 reporter Emory Bryan says Lawrence Watts sat listening to evidence against him, much of it gleaned from his own statements and actions. Watts owns a BBQ restaurant in Eufaula. He's accused of killing a man in the parking lot, in what the victims family says was an argument over money.

According to the testimony, before anyone found the body - Watts walked into the McIntosh County Courthouse and confessed to a judge. The judge quoted Watts as saying "I just shot a man” and "He kept bumping me and I just lost it."

Watts is charged with the June 25th murder of Anthony Greco - a man Watts hired for some demolition work. Greco’s family says he confronted Watts over an unpaid bill. Marty Gecco, victims brother: “Came to get his money and the man shot and killed him in cold blood.”

Both the families of the accused - and the victim watched the hearing. They heard a sheriff's deputy testify that Watts repeated his confession. The deputy testified Watts told him the location of the body, where to find the murder weapon and gave the victims name.

Watts was arrested, but released on $30,000 bond pending trial. The victim’s family took exception to the unusually low bond for a murder charge. Marty Gecco, “the name, his brother being former congressman, we feel that's got a lot to do with it, we feel that's got a lot to do with him being out on $30,000 bond for a first degree murder.”

Monday's hearing was in the same courtroom where a judge testified Watts came in on the day of the murder and confessed to the crime. The judge hearing the case decided there was enough evidence to warrant a trial on the charges.