MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Local News

October 18, 2013

Watson gets life with possibility of parole

Man sentenced in felony murder of teen Ryan Satterfield

A slain teen’s father told one of the men responsible for his son’s death that his family got a life sentence.

Fredrick Watson Jr. was sentenced Thursday to life with the possibility of parole for his role in the death of Ryan Satterfield. Watson, 20, will be 58 before he is eligible for parole.

Satterfield, 17, was shot and killed Nov. 23, 2011, during a robbery in Muskogee. A jury found Watson guilty in August of felony first-degree murder. Stephen Cale, Watson’s attorney, said he plans to file an appeal. Watson is the last of six convicted and sentenced.

“I know a life sentence is a long time, but there’s a chance a mother will see him again,” said Brad Satterfield, Ryan’s father, in court. “We got the life sentence.”

Satterfield and Ryan’s mother, Michelle Satterfield, could barely speak through tears.

Watson took the stand and said he takes responsibility for his part in the shooting. He then addressed Ryan’s mother.

“Mrs. Satterfield, I’d like to apologize,” said Watson. “I know I can’t bring your son back ... I’d like to apologize for my part.”

Alex Satterfield, Ryan’s 22-year-old brother, stormed out of the courtroom as Watson spoke.

Watson asked for forgiveness.

Ryan’s mother asked the judge if she could speak to Watson. Satterfield said she’d forgiven him a long time ago.

“It still doesn’t change what happened,” she said. “I appreciate what you said and that you looked me in the eye. It means a lot.”

Satterfield began to cry and sat down.

Ryan’s mother testified about the last time she saw her son the night he died. Satterfield had met Ryan to give him money for dinner that night.

She said Ryan yelled to her as she drove away.

“He said, ‘I love you more,’” said a crying Satterfield. “That was the last time I heard my baby’s voice.”

Cale asked the judge during closing arguments for a suspended sentence where Watson would serve the first 25 years. He said this was because Watson had shown remorse and was not the shooter.

Assistant District Attorney Tim King said Thursday was the first time Watson had shown remorse.

“He participated in the robbery,” King said. “He may have gone there to buy marijuana, but that’s not what happened.”

Ryan’s father said outside the courthouse that though Watson was the last sentenced, the wounds still exist.

“There’ll never be finality, but you can start to move on now,” said Brad Satterfield. “You can start to heal, but it’ll never heal the wounds.”

Reach Thad Ayers at (918) 684-2903 or tayers@muskogeephoenix.com.

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