Homophobic Nevada father allegedly shot 14-year-old son dead after finding out he was gay and had a boyfriend
HENDERSON, NEVADA: A father who was arrested for allegedly fatally shooting his 14-year-old son after finding out that the teen was gay appeared in court in Nevada on Wednesday, November 6.
Wendell Melton, the father and accused murderer of Giovanni Melton, appeared in a Nevada court last week—just days after the two year anniversary of Giovanni’s death. He originally claimed that he shot and killed his son by accident and that he didn’t mean to fire the gun, but Giovanni’s mother Veronica Melton told KTNV that she disagrees.
After being arrested and charged with murder, child abuse and illegal possession of firearms, Wendell had his bail lowered by over 3/4 its total in March 2018. Wendell’s trial was postponed in July, and he was granted release onto house arrest in August 2019, after 22 months in jail. Wendell is presently on house arrest and after his last week's appearance in court, he is due for his next court appearance in February 2020.
According to KSNV, 14-year-old Giovanni was shot by his own father Wendell in 2017 after the two had an argument about how he is gay and has a boyfriend. The teenager's former foster mother Sonia Jones shared, "He hated the fact that his son was gay. I'm sure that, inside of his mind, he would rather have a dead son than a gay son".
The child's mother, Veronica, had spoken to KTNV and shared, "When my son died, I died. I died that day. My heart was broken". She also spoke about Wendell and said, "When I was married to him, he would make very disparaging remarks against people that were gay, and to me, I know that he was homophobic".
On the fateful day in 2017, the police arrived at the scene after they received a report about a domestic disturbance at their apartment. Upon arriving, the police found the teenager in critical condition and then rushed him to the St Rose Dominican Hospital. Giovanni succumbed to his injuries and died in the hospital.
The authorities added that Giovanni lived alone at the apartment where he was shot. The police arrested the father, Wendell Melton, and had booked him into the Henderson Detection center. Wendell has been charged with open murder, child abuse and prohibited person possessing a firearm. It is currently not known whether he will be charged with a hate crime.
14-year-old Giovanni was remembered fondly by his friends who described him as an energetic teenager who could bring a smile to anyone's face. A friend of his, Bailey Schultz shared that the two were friends at the Coronado High School and that "he was young and had a lot to live for".