Burned; Grandmother says accused meth-maker lied to her
Story by Gordon Boyd
Eyewitness News Reporter
MURRAY COUNTY, GA. (WRCB)-- Wanda Jackson is trying to square her grandson's own words with what Murray County deputies say they found inside the trailer she rented to him just outside Chatsworth, Georgia.
"I heard him say many times, 'it's crazy,trying to make meth it's too dangerous,'"she says.
"I didn't think that he lied to me."
Outside, you'd never know of a problem. Inside?
"There'd been an explosion and fire, that revealed there was a meth lab gone bad," Chief Deputy Ray Sitton says.
It left Jackson's grandson, John Michael Watters, 36, so burned that he's been blinded.
"They said they couldn't do surgery for a year." Jackson says.
Watters faces charges of manufacturing and possessing methamphetamine.
So does his girlfriend, 25-year-old Summer Nicole Long.
Detectives say Long told them she and Watters had been burning brush and leaves, when Watters squirted perfume on the pile to make it burn hotter and faster. They weren't buying.
"Chemical burns are pretty serious, more so than brush burns," Chief Deputy Sitton says.
"He was seriously burned."
Chattanooga Police alerted Murray County deputies after Watters was brought to the emergency room of Parkridge Medical Center February 4.
Inconsistencies in Watters' story allowed deputies to obtain a warrant in search the rental trailer, Chief Deputy Sitton says.
"He (apparently) was in the bedroom, cooking on an oil heater," Jackson says.
Watters was transferred to the Joseph Stills Burn Center in Augusta. Long was treated, charged, and released on bond.
Conviction could put Watters in prison for five years. But he faces greater pains; skin grafts and surgeries.
"From his head down to his knees, burned," Jackson says.
His greater challenge may be persuading the grandmother who trusted him, who says she prays for him daily, to forgive him.
"I love him dearly," she says.
"And if he wants to, I have a home for him."