DATE: January 4, 2019

CASE: David Watson (Case #16FE019708)

PROSECUTOR: Deputy District Attorney Heidi Brennan, Child Abduction Unit

The Honorable Michael Savage sentenced David Watson to 36 years to life in prison.  On March 5, 2018, a jury convicted Watson of kidnapping while personally using a knife and parental child abduction.

In September 2016, the Shasta Interagency Narcotics Task Force conducted a probation search at the home where David Watson and Christina Bell had been residing.  Bell, who was home at the time with the couple’s 5-month-old baby, was arrested for child endangerment and drug related charges. Law enforcement took the baby into protective custody and Shasta County Children’s Services placed the child with Bell’s mother, who resides in Sacramento County and obtained legal temporary guardianship of the baby.  On October 12, 2016, Watson and Bell went to have a supervised visit with their child at the home of Bell’s mother.   During the visit, Watson walked out of the residence with the baby, pulled out a knife and proceeded to leave with the baby.  Bell got in the car with him and they fled. Watson and Bell returned to Shasta County with the child.  Bell was arrested on October 13, 2016.  Watson was found with the baby and arrested on October 15, 2016.

Allegations that Watson suffered a 1987 strike conviction for first-degree burglary and a 1992 strike conviction for assault with a firearm were found true prior to the sentencing.

On January 30, 2017, Christina Bell pled no contest to child abduction and was sentenced to 364 days in jail.