Benjamin Watta – Repeat Sex Offender – Sentenced to Death


A man convicted of raping and murdering a 70-year-old Seal Beach woman has been sentenced to death.

An Orange County Superior Court judge on Tuesday upheld a jury’s death penalty recommendation for 63-year-old Benjamin Watta.

He was convicted in June of attacking Simone Sharpe as she fed her neighbor’s cats 28 years ago.

Prosecutors argued that DNA evidence matched Watta to the crime. They decided to seek the death penalty because DNA linked Watta to an unsolved rape in Florida.

Watta was a registered sex offender and has prior convictions for attempted rape, burglary, use of a firearm and attempted murder of a police officer.

Defense attorneys have said Watta was abandoned when he was a baby and sexually abused as a child.

“25% of all sex offenders re-offend within 15 years”

……..Sarah Tofte

Benjamin Watta – Repeat Sex Offender – Sentenced to Death


A man convicted of raping and murdering a 70-year-old Seal Beach woman has been sentenced to death.

An Orange County Superior Court judge on Tuesday upheld a jury’s death penalty recommendation for 63-year-old Benjamin Watta.

He was convicted in June of attacking Simone Sharpe as she fed her neighbor’s cats 28 years ago.

Prosecutors argued that DNA evidence matched Watta to the crime. They decided to seek the death penalty because DNA linked Watta to an unsolved rape in Florida.

Watta was a registered sex offender and has prior convictions for attempted rape, burglary, use of a firearm and attempted murder of a police officer.

Defense attorneys have said Watta was abandoned when he was a baby and sexually abused as a child.

“25% of all sex offenders re-offend within 15 years”

……..Sarah Tofte

Peggy Edenfield – Agrees to testify against husband

Peggy Edenfield has agreed to testify against her husband and son in exchange for prosecutors not asking that she get the death penalty.


The first of three family members charged with the sexual abuse slaying of 6-year-old Christopher Michael Barrios Jr. could stand trial this year, prosecutors said.

David Edenfield, 59, of Brunswick faces the death penalty if convicted of malice murder in the killing almost two years ago.

District Attorney Stephen Kelley wants to bring Edenfield to trial in late summer or fall. Edenfield’s son, George, a convicted child molester, also faces the death penalty in the slaying. George Edenfield, 33, could face a special civil trial by the end of the year to determine if he is mentally competent to be tried on the criminal charges, Kelley said.

No date has been set for David or George Edenfield. Nor has a trial date been set for Peggy Edenfield, 57, who faces a life sentence in the killing. She is married to David Edenfield and is George Edenfield’s mother.

The five-county Brunswick circuit had 25 homicide cases awaiting trial as of Friday. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty in at least seven of those cases, Kelley said.

None is bigger than those for the accused killers of Christopher Barrios Jr., a case that drew national attention.

The boy was killed March 8, 2007. His body was discovered a week later inside a black plastic trash bag hidden in woods about 2 miles from the Canal Mobile Home Park where he lived.

The three Edenfields were the Barrios family’s neighbors. They remain jailed without bail on malice murder, kidnapping and child molestation charges.

Peggy Edenfield has agreed to testify against her husband and son in exchange for prosecutors not asking that she get the death penalty.

Kelley expects pretrial hearings in David Edenfield’s case to resume within a couple months. It’s been slow going, he said, because of the legal procedures mandated by Georgia’s death penalty law.

“It’s all time-consuming, but it’s part of Georgia’s death penalty process,” he said.

Peggy’s son George Edenfield was a registered sex offender.

“25% of all sex offenders re-offend within 15 years”

………Sarah Tofte

Peggy Edenfield – Agrees to testify against husband

Peggy Edenfield has agreed to testify against her husband and son in exchange for prosecutors not asking that she get the death penalty.


The first of three family members charged with the sexual abuse slaying of 6-year-old Christopher Michael Barrios Jr. could stand trial this year, prosecutors said.

David Edenfield, 59, of Brunswick faces the death penalty if convicted of malice murder in the killing almost two years ago.

District Attorney Stephen Kelley wants to bring Edenfield to trial in late summer or fall. Edenfield’s son, George, a convicted child molester, also faces the death penalty in the slaying. George Edenfield, 33, could face a special civil trial by the end of the year to determine if he is mentally competent to be tried on the criminal charges, Kelley said.

No date has been set for David or George Edenfield. Nor has a trial date been set for Peggy Edenfield, 57, who faces a life sentence in the killing. She is married to David Edenfield and is George Edenfield’s mother.

The five-county Brunswick circuit had 25 homicide cases awaiting trial as of Friday. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty in at least seven of those cases, Kelley said.

None is bigger than those for the accused killers of Christopher Barrios Jr., a case that drew national attention.

The boy was killed March 8, 2007. His body was discovered a week later inside a black plastic trash bag hidden in woods about 2 miles from the Canal Mobile Home Park where he lived.

The three Edenfields were the Barrios family’s neighbors. They remain jailed without bail on malice murder, kidnapping and child molestation charges.

Peggy Edenfield has agreed to testify against her husband and son in exchange for prosecutors not asking that she get the death penalty.

Kelley expects pretrial hearings in David Edenfield’s case to resume within a couple months. It’s been slow going, he said, because of the legal procedures mandated by Georgia’s death penalty law.

“It’s all time-consuming, but it’s part of Georgia’s death penalty process,” he said.

Peggy’s son George Edenfield was a registered sex offender.

“25% of all sex offenders re-offend within 15 years”

………Sarah Tofte

Governor Blunt calls for death penalty on sexual predators

Governor Matt Blunt speaks at the Capital Plaza Hotel in Jefferson City to call for more serious penalties for sex offenders.

Governor Blunt said “sexual predators in Missouri should be put on notice that if they think they can roam Internet chat rooms or our neighborhoods for Missouri victims without consequence they are wrong.”

NEWS RELEASE FROM GOVERNOR BLUNT’S OFFICE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Gov. Blunt Calls for Death Penalty for Violent Sexual Predators says Capital Punishment Should Be Included in State Law

JEFFERSON CITY – Gov. Matt Blunt today announced he is calling for the death penalty to be included in state law as punishment for the worst sexual predators, building on the state’s commitment to protecting our children from harm. Gov. Blunt made the announcement at
a Cyber Crimes Summit.

“Sexual predators in Missouri should be put on notice that If they think they can roam Internet chat rooms or our neighborhoods for Missouri victims without consequence, they are wrong,” Gov. Blunt said.

“My administration has made our children’s safety a priority and that is why I signed one of the strongest Jessica’s Laws in the country to protect our children from dangerous sexual predators. I look forward to working with the state legislature next year to strengthen the penalties against those who harm Missouri’s most precious resources, our children.”

“The scourge of online child exploitation must be stopped in this state,” Sen. John Loudon said. “We cannot continue to have our youngest and most vulnerable citizens subjected to the sick and demented perversions of online predators.”

Gov. Blunt will call for stronger penalties against sexual predators in Missouri. The governor is calling for legislation that adds the sentence of death to forcible rape and forcible sodomy when the victim is less than 12 years old.

Gov. Blunt’s strong leadership ensured Missouri has one of the toughest versions of Jessica’s Law in the nation. The legislation mandates a lifetime sentence with a minimum of 30 years for serious sexual crimes committed against young children and calls for certain sex offenders to be monitored their entire lives. The governor also led the successful effort to expand the state’s sexual offender registry and add new tools to make it a more powerful resource for parents and law enforcement officials.

Gov. Blunt created a state program to support Multi-jurisdictional Internet Cyber Crimes Task Forces and a related grant program to help protect children from online predators. The budget Blunt signed this year provides a total of $1.25 million for the cyber grant program to help further law enforcement efforts to protect Missouri children from cyber sexual predators. The governor recently announced he will recommend a quarter million dollar increase in funding specifically designated to help protect Missourians from cyber crime in the next state budget.

Earlier this year the governor announced his support for a new initiative to strengthen Missouri’s sex offender registry even further. The legislation would require convicted sex offenders to submit their e-mail addresses, Instant Messaging names, and any other electronic identifiers to the sex offender registry. The information would then be available to help parents and law enforcement keep our children safe from sexual predators. Registered sex offenders would only be allowed to use email addresses or other Internet based identifiers that they provide to the sex offender registry.

Convicted murderer and pedophile sentenced to death

A convicted murderer and pedophile has been sentenced to death for killing two young sisters more than a decade ago in Fort Lauderdale.

Howard Ault was first sentenced to death eight years ago. But the Florida Supreme Court threw out the sentence because a potential juror had been wrongly dismissed. The conviction was never thrown own.

A new jury in August again recommended the same fate for Ault.

He’s accused of luring 11-year-old DeAnn Mu’min and 7-year-old Sybilla Jones to his apartment, promising them Halloween candy. He raped and strangled the older girl before strangling her younger sister. He then hid the bodies in his attic. He had been on house arrest for a prior sexual assault at the time.

His lawyer argued for leniency, claiming that his client was mentally ill and had been sexually abused as a child.

Associated Press

Published in: on October 24, 2007 at 10:32 pm  Leave a Comment