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Mother of one of the two teenage boys charged with felony murder speaks out

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -

Two teenage boys were arraigned on Friday on felony murder charges in connection to the death of 46-year-old Felipe Gutierrez.

According to court documents Gutierrez was shot and killed after a botched robbery at South bend’s Charles Black Rec Center.

After the arraignment 17-year-old George Lee Watson’s mother, Schmeca White, spoke only with ABC57.

She was with his older sister and some friends. She says at first she heard rumors about the shooting, but then Watson told her his side of the story.

He’s in there for something he didn’t do and that’s messed up. It’s crazy it seems like they just want to put somebody away and not investigate,” says White. “My son shouldn’t be there for murder, he didn’t kill anyone.” 

White says her son told her he wanted to confess what happened on Saturday May 20th, the day Gutierrez was shot and killed.

 “He was saying he wanted to turn himself in and tell his side of what happened,” says White.

According to court documents, the murder was a result of a botched robbery and 17-year-old Watson was the one that set up the sale of an iPhone 7.  

“He took off running only because he’s not used to violence like that. Any normal person would run if they hear gun shots,” says White. “He only went there to try and get him some money to get him a phone.”

White says Watson has never stepped foot inside the JJC and in this scenario he was just at the wrong place, at the wrong time.  

“George is a goofy kid, like a regular normal teenager. He’ll be anybody’s friend and that’s what got him in this. He acquired the wrong friends.”  

Both 17-year-old Qualan Jones and George Lee Watson have their initial hearing dates set. As of now, both are being charged with felony murder.

Attorney Cecilia Lopez Monterrosa says as long as a felony results in death, the felony murder charge is applicable. “You cannot be convicted of felony murder if you’re found not guilty of the felony.” \

A 16-year-old and a 15-year-old are also being investigated in this case.  

They’ll decide depending on the severity of the crime the prosecuting attorney, whether they are going to try them as adults or not,” says Monterrosa.

White says Watson will have a public defender, but she’s trying to get money together for an attorney.

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