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DeSoto County teen facing murder charges appears in court

Ryan Watson Jr.
Posted at 12:24 PM, Feb 09, 2023
and last updated 2023-02-09 12:28:52-05

ARCADIA, Fla. — Ryan Watson Jr. had his first court appearance Thursday afternoon.

Watson Jr. who is 15 years old made his first appearance through a zoom video call at the DeSoto County Courthouse from the Manatee Regional Detention Center.

DeSoto County Judge Guy A. Flowers said because of the severity of the case Watson qualified to be held in secure detention.

The state attorney’s office recommended he stay in a secured facility.

According to Watson’s attorney Kevin Shirley, it is unclear how the state attorney will proceed with the case.

“Well obviously judge we’d like the court to consider home confinement, but I understand based on the severity of the defense alleged that he qualifies for detention in a secured facility,” Shirley said.

Judge Flowers ruled that Watson would remain in secured detention.

Watson’s next court date is on March 1, 2023, at 5:00 p.m.

Watson is accused of shooting and killing 17-year-old Daniel Rodriguez-Lopez at the DeSoto County Fair on Saturday.

Arcadia Police arrested Watson on Wednesday.

According to police Watson's mother turned the boy in.

Both Watson's parents were present at the first appearance and said they understood the charges their son is facing.