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Davenport man sentenced to 50 years in prison, with no parole until 35 years, for murder of mother

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A Davenport man was sentenced to 50 years in prison on a second-degree murder charge in connection with his mother’s death.

McKinsley Steven Watson, 38, was originally charged with first-degree murder in connection with the death of his mother, Victoria Watson, 59, on May 21, 2020. Watson accepted a plea agreement in October and pleaded guilty to second-degree murder.

Under Iowa law, second-degree murder is a Class B felony that carries a mandatory sentence of 50 years in prison, 70% of which, or 35 years, must be served before parole can be granted. McKinsley Watson will also be required to pay $150,000 in victim restitution. 

Davenport police were sent the 600 block of 63rd Street at 4:46 a.m. to investigate a call about an unresponsive female. Paramedics with the Davenport Fire Department also responded to the scene and pronounced the woman dead.

According to the affidavit filed by Davenport Police Cpl. Greg Lalla, McKinsley Watson assaulted his mother, Victoria Watson, causing her death.

Two of Victoria's daughters gave victim impact statements during the sentencing hearing Wednesday. 

Marsha Watson spoke first. She said this was not the first time McKinsley had assaulted a family member. 

"May 21st is a day that will haunt me for the rest of my life. Not only did I lose my mother that day, I also lost my brother," Marsha said. "McKinsley does not care who he hurts and does not learn from his mistakes."

Marsha spoke about how great of a grandmother Victoria was. Marsha said she recently had another baby girl, who was named Victoria after her mother, and lamented how that little girl will never get to know her loving grandma. 

Teresa Smart, Victoria's other daughter, agreed with her sister.

"I just hope he realizes how bad he hurt our whole family," Smart said. 

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