Gerald Watkins, Pennsylvania


Updated: Monday, January 18, 2016 12:59 pm EST

Gerald Keith Watkins was scheduled to be executed at 7 pm EST, on Tuesday, January 19, 2016, at the Rockview State Correctional Institute in Rockview, Pennsylvania. His execution has been stayed by the US District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania. Forty-six-year-old Gerald is convicted of the murder of Beth Ann Anderson, 18-day-old Melanie Watkins, and nine-year-old Charles “Kevin” Kelley, Jr., on July 20, 1994, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Gerald has spent the last 19 years on Pennsylvania’s death row.

Gerald’s father left when he was young and he was raised by his mother, who worked as a registered nurse. Gerald rarely saw his father. He attended a military school, instead of public school. During his childhood, he spent a year in an abusive drug rehabilitation program. According to his mother, Gerald did well in school, but left at the age of 17 to begin working, although he kept in touch with her. Gerald also had five-year-old daughter at the time of the murder.

On July 20, 1994, Gerald Watkins was at a bar with a friend until approximately 9:30 pm. Around 10:00 pm, Beth Ann Anderson heard a knocking at the door to her house. She called her friend and neighbor, Monique Kohlman, and informed her that Watkins was her house. Monique remained on the line while Beth went to answer the door. She heard a voice which she recognized as Gerald. Gerald picked up the phone and spoke with Monique, identifying himself as “G,” a nickname.

The phone was then laid down, but the call was not terminated. Monique heard Beth say “ow” and “stop Gerald.” Monique also heard what sounded like a struggle, then Beth saying, “Call the police.” Monique called the police before going to Beth’s home. She pounded on the door until the police arrived a short time later.


The police entered to find Beth lying on the floor and her 18-day-old baby, Melanie, was lying on the couch. No pulses were detected in either victim. Police found Beth’s other child, nine-year-old Kevin, lying on the steps of the home. Beth had been shot eight times in the chest and head. Melanie had been should 12 times. Kevin had been shot five times in the face, head, and neck. Several spent .22 caliber shell casing, along with several live rounds, were found near and surrounding the bodies. None of the victims survived the shooting.


A second neighbor, Ronnie Williams told police that he had seen Watkins knocking on Beth’s door that night. Ronnie recognized Watkins because the two had used to date. Watkins later stated, that Beth had rejected a marriage proposal from him just days before the murder.


Following the shooting, Watkins fled the state for New York, with the help of the same friend who had been with him at the bar that night. Allegedly, Watkins threatened his family if he did not help him escaped.


Watkins became one of the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted on March 4, 1995. He was also featured on the television show “America’s Most Wanted.” Watkins was arrested by the FBI in Upper Manhattan in New York City, in May of 1995. His apartment was entered by force and Watkins attempted to use a fire escape to evade capture, but officers were waiting for him.


Following his arrest, Watkins admitted to visiting Beth that night and leaving the state, however he claimed that he did not kill her or the children. He also alleged that he did not the children had died. He also claimed to have seen that he was featured on “America’s Most Wanted,” but said he did not pay attention to the story.


Watkins later confessed that he went to Beth’s house because he was jealous of the time she was spending with another man. They argued before he shot her. He then went upstairs and saw Kevin. Watkins claimed to have killed Kevin because he could identify him as the shooter. After going back downstairs, he saw Melanie because he felt that he could not raise his daughter and did not want anyone else to raise her. He threw the gun he used into an incinerator of an apartment building.


Watkins was convicted on three counts of murder and sentenced to death on December 13, 1996.


Please pray for peace and healing for the family of Beth, Melanie, and Kevin. Please pray for strength for the family of Gerald Watkins. Please pray that if Gerald is innocent, lacks the competency to be executed, or should not be executed for any other reasons, that evidence will be presented prior to his execution. Please pray that Gerald may come to find peace through personal relationship with Jesus Christ, if he has not already.



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