A dad who allegedly murdered his teenage son because ‘he would rather have a dead son than a gay son’ appeared in court last week.
Wendell Melton, who was arrested two years ago in connection with the death of his 14-year-old son Giovanni, faces charges of open murder, possession of a firearm by a prohibited person, and first-degree child abuse.
The victim’s mother, Veronica Melton, said she is still waiting for justice after her ‘heart was broken’ by the fatal shooting of her son by her ‘homophobic’ ex-husband.
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Henderson Police confirmed the then 53-year-old Melton shot his teenage son in the apartment where family members said Giovanni lived by himself, news station KSNV reported at the time of the murder.
Despite Melton previously telling police he had accidentally pulled the trigger after getting into an argument with his son, people close to Giovanni said his dad had got into a fight with him because of his sexuality.
Sonja Jones, Giovanni’s former foster mum, said Melton had problems with his son’s sexual orientation, stating:
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.
Jones said the father had previously pulled a gun on his son when he caught him with his boyfriend, adding his beautiful life was taken away because of ignorance.
Giovanni’s mum Veronica disputes Melton’s claims his son’s death was an accident – that an argument got physical, and that he didn’t mean to pull the trigger – saying the man’s motive was he wouldn’t accept who the 14-year-old was.
The heartbroken mother told news station KTNV:
My ex-husband was always trying to find out if my son was gay, but my son would never tell him.
The teenager came out to his mum just two months before the shooting, with Veronica believing he told his father around the same time. However, she said Melton ‘couldn’t deal with’ the news.
This was because when she was married to him, ‘he would make very disparaging remarks against people that were gay, and to me I know that he was homophobic’, she explained.
Melton is yet to go to trial and is currently under house arrest, with his next court appearance scheduled for February.
Rest in peace, Giovanni.
If you’ve been affected by any of these issues, and want to speak to someone in confidence, contact the LGBT Foundation on 0345 3 30 30 30, 9am until 9pm Monday to Friday, and 10am until 6pm Saturday, or email [email protected]
If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence, contact Cruse Bereavement Care via its national helpline on 0808 808 1677.
A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).