Roland Rah’Saun Watson was 15 when he and two other teens were charged with murder in the 2014 armed robbery and fatal shooting of Damian Bernard “Little Petey” Clayton at the Macon Little League ball field on Anthony Road.
Monday, the now 18-year-old Watson stood with his shackled hands in the pockets of his trousers as he was sentenced to 40 years, 22 of them in prison.
As part of a plea agreement with prosecutors, Watson pleaded guilty to armed robbery and aggravated assault.
Watson didn’t speak other than to answer the judge’s questions.
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Later in the afternoon, his lawyer, Gregory Bushway, said the “resolution was a long time in the making.”
“Anytime a 16-year-old is shot and killed, the end result is a tragedy. Roland Watson has taken responsibility for his part in this tragedy,” Bushway said. “The plea both punishes him and affords Roland an opportunity to redeem his life.”
In 2015, he pleaded guilty under a separate plea agreement that required him to testify during the trial for Jedarrius Treonta Meadows Jr., 20, another man charged in Clayton’s killing.
When Watson testified during Meadows’ trial, a few weeks after his guilty plea, the judge didn’t think his testimony was truthful and declined to accept the plea agreement. A mistrial was declared in Meadows’ case after jurors were unable to reach a verdict.
The judge revoked Meadows’ bond earlier this year after he was arrested in December on a criminal damage charge in Warner Robins. Meadows is being held at the Bibb County jail without bond.
Meadows is expected to go to trial a second time later this year.
During Meadows’ 2015 trial, a prosecutor said Clayton was lured to the ball field, across from Henderson Stadium, to buy marijuana.
Clayton had been set to testify in a murder trial for Dontavius “Man Man” Mintz,” a Crips gang member from the Bloomfield community and was killed to prevent him from testifying, a sheriff’s office gang investigator testified.
Clayton belonged to the Unionville community-based 10-12 street gang, which changed its name to Petey Fam after his death, the investigator said.
Authorities have said Clayton was the intended target of a Nov. 21, 2013, shooting that instead killed 16-year-old Alyssa Zari Jackson. Mintz pleaded guilty to murder in 2015.
Meadows and Watson are alleged to be members of the Fu--Life gang based in the Bloomfield area.