Wednesday, October 7, 2009
"BUFORD, GA - The deaths of a man and woman found on the side of a Buford road Saturday night have been ruled a murder-suicide.
"The Gwinnett County Medical Examiner's Office ruled that Margie Gibbs, 67, shot and killed Jimmy Watts, 53, before turning the gun on herself.
"Gibbs was driving Watts back to the halfway house at Phillips State Prison on West Rock Quarry Road when she apparently stopped the pickup truck, pulled a revolver and shot Watts.
"Watts got out of the Toyota Tacoma after being shot once, police said.
"`He got out, she got out, they met on the passenger side,` said Cpl. David Schiralli, the police spokesman. `She shot him multiple times and then turned the gun on herself.`
"The gun was registered to Gibbs, police said.
"Watts was two days away from being paroled on a cocaine conviction for which he had served 3 1/2 years. He did his work release program with Gibbs cleaning office buildings.
"Police did not specify their relationship. Gibbs' relative said she was dating Watts. Watts' brother said they were not romantically involved.
"`It's just senseless,` Ken Watts said Wednesday. `It didn't need to happen.`
"Ken Watts said his brother met Gibbs three years ago while he was incarcerated at Walker State Prison with Gibbs' son. Gibbs started visiting Watts on weekends.
"A maid originally from Columbus, Gibbs moved to Alpharetta recently and cleaned Buckhead office buildings. She accompanied Watts to his hometown of Tiger, in Rabun County, on Saturday. They left around 5 p.m. because Watts had to be back at the Transitional Center by 7.
"Ken Watts said his brother was looking forward to coming home Monday and rebuilding his house, which burned down after he went to prison. Saturday, as they installed windows in the house, his brother confided he planned to tell Gibbs he wasn't going to live with her, Ken Watts said.
"`I'm sure she was going to be disappointed, but it's not like he had committed to her,` Ken Watts said. `He just wanted to come home and be with his family.`
"A passing motorist saw Watts and Gibbs lying near the maroon pickup around 7 p.m. Saturday, and called police. Watts was dead, but Gibbs was alive when paramedics arrived. She died of her wounds that night at Gwinnett Medical Center."