Office of the DeKalb County District Attorney

Stone Mountain Judicial Circuit

Sherry Boston, District Attorney


Wednesday, April 24, 2024

State v. Alphonso Watts

Decatur, Ga.- DeKalb County District Attorney Sherry Boston announces a conviction by jury trial in the case against a Decatur man accused of shooting and killing the man who lived in the apartment above him. 

On Monday, jurors found Alphonso Watts, 53, guilty of Malice Murder, two counts of Felony Murder, Aggravated Assault, Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon and Possession of a Firearm During the Commission of a Felony stemming from the attack on Darryl Halden, 35, on August 16, 2020. 

According to the investigation, officers with the DeKalb County Police Department responded to a call around 7:40 p.m. about a man lying near a dumpster at an apartment complex on Friendly Heights Boulevard in unincorporated Decatur.  Officers found Halden unresponsive, suffering from multiple gunshot wounds.  Paramedics transported Halden to Grady Memorial Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.

Investigators used the apartment complex’s surveillance cameras to identify Defendant Watts as the shooter.  Footage showed Defendant Watts as he left the apartment building around 7:31 p.m.  Just seconds later, the same camera captured Halden as he walked out of the building carrying two bags of trash.  Halden was never seen on camera again.  Defendant Watts, however, was seen leaving the dumpster area around 7:33 p.m. 

Residents at the complex told investigators that Defendant Watts had been involved in a dispute with the victim because Halden had stored his bicycle in the hallway of the building. They also told investigators that Watts believed Halden was spying on him through his smoke detector. In an interview with detectives, Defendant Watts said he believed someone had been watching him through the smoke detectors in his ceiling.

Immediately following the guilty verdicts, DeKalb County Superior Court Judge Shondeana Morris, who presided over the trial, sentenced Defendant Watts to serve Life plus 15 years. 

The case, assigned to the Homicide and Gangs Unit, was prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney Kara Roberts with assistance from Senior Assistant District Attorney Helen Pott, District Attorney Investigator J.B. Williams, and Victim Advocate Kaysha Albritton.  DeKalb County Police Department Det. Hoyt led the initial investigation.