Decatur Man Convicted of Murdering Neighbor in Bike Dispute, Receives Life Sentence

Decatur Man Convicted of Murdering Neighbor in Bike Dispute, Receives Life Sentence
Alphonso Watts

In a recent development, District Attorney Sherry Boston has announced a significant conviction resulting from a jury trial. Alphonso Watts, aged 53, from Decatur, has been found guilty on multiple charges including Malice Murder and Felony Murder, among others, in connection to the shooting death of Darryl Halden, aged 35, on August 16, 2020.

The incident, which occurred at an apartment complex on Friendly Heights Boulevard, prompted a swift response from the DeKalb County Police Department after receiving a distress call around 7:40 p.m. Officers discovered Halden near a dumpster, critically injured from multiple gunshot wounds. Despite efforts to save him, Halden later succumbed to his injuries at Grady Memorial Hospital.

Utilizing surveillance footage from the apartment complex, investigators were able to identify Watts as the perpetrator. The footage revealed Watts leaving the building just moments before Halden, who was seen carrying bags of trash. However, Halden was not seen again on camera, while Watts was observed leaving the dumpster area shortly after.

Residents of the complex informed investigators of a dispute between Watts and Halden, allegedly stemming from Halden storing his bicycle in the building’s hallway and suspicions from Watts about Halden spying on him through smoke detectors. Watts himself claimed to detectives that he believed someone was monitoring him through the ceiling smoke detectors.

Following the jury’s guilty verdict, presiding Judge Shondeana Morris sentenced Watts to life imprisonment plus an additional 15 years. The prosecution team, led by Senior Assistant District Attorneys Kara Roberts and Helen Pott, along with support from District Attorney Investigator J.B. Williams and Victim Advocate Kaysha Albritton, worked diligently on the case. DeKalb County Police Department Detective Hoyt led the initial investigation.