Atkins family member believes Sunday murder could be related killing on same street

By: Stephen McLamb Email
By: Stephen McLamb Email
The search is on for a murderer in Knoxville.
27 year old Antoine Manro Watkins was found dead in the Selma Avenue home he shared with his father.
The murder scene is across the street from another murder investigation from last  March.

Antoine M. Watkins, 27, was found dead inside a Selma Ave. home. (Photo Courtesy: Knox County Sheriff's Office)

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- The search is on for a murderer in Knoxville.

27 year old Antoine Manro Watkins was found dead in the Selma Avenue home he shared with his father.

The murder scene is across the street from another murder investigation from last March.

That of murder of Nola Atkins, and it's still unsolved.

Knoxville police say it's just a coincidence.

They don't believe the reasons behind both murders are related, but Nola's relatives aren't so sure.

They believe the reasons might not be the same but maybe the players involved might be.

"It may sound bad but I don't feel sorry for him," says Atkins' son, Ronald Martin.

Martin is talking about Antoine Watkins, found murdered in a house Sunday on Selma Avenue across the street where his mother, Nola Atkins, was found murdered in March.

Martin says during his time of grief he had his suspicions about Watkins and whether or not he may have been connected to his mother's death.

"He was walking up and down he street raising Cain, the police really couldn't do anything. He was saying he wasn't scared of the police, this, that, and the other," says Martin.

"We can't say that it's any kind of relationship to the homicide, at this time. But have you ruled it out? No, we haven't ruled it out," says Knoxville police Sgt. Tim Snoderly.

Police believe the reasons for the two murders are not the same, but Martin believes the players are.

Martin says Darius Kyle, who was recently released as a suspect in the Atkins murder, is a cousin of Watkins.

"The guy they let out, Darius Kyle, was living across the street from where my mother lived, in Mr. Watkins house," says Martin.

But for people on Selma Avenue, Sunday's homicide was doubly disturbing.

Neighbor Sherman McDuffey says, "We never had deaths up here before and all of a sudden two deaths in less than a year?"

McDuffey says he's not scared but got some protection after the Atkins murder.

"My daughter and son in law came up and put an alarm on my house and also put one in my brother's house down the street," says McDuffey.

McDuffey may not be scared, but the neighborhood's association president says others are.

"It's mostly women and they are afraid to leave out to go to the grocery store. And I told them you just have to put it in God's Hand."

WVLT asked Knoxville police if Kyle was the one who called police to report
Watkins' death and whether he was a person of interest.

They would neither confirm or deny either question.

As far as Watkins death, cops are searching for suspects but have no one in custody.

He does have a criminal record, but his relatives say he had recently put his life in god's hands and was cleaning up.

You must be logged in to post comments.

Password (case sensitive):
Remember Me:

Read Comments

Join the Conversation!

While WVLT allows comments on articles, we ask that you respect the online community. Comments may be removed at any time for violations including:

  • Obscenity, profanity, vulgarity, racism, violent descriptions, name-calling or personal attacks.
  • Abuse of multiple accounts.
  • Off-topic comments.

Comments may be checked for inappropriate content or rule violation, but the station is under no legal obligation to monitor or remove comments. If you believe a comment violates the above rules, please use the Flagging Tool to alert a Moderator. 
Flagging does not guarantee removal.

  • by iamme Location: knoxville on Nov 26, 2008 at 09:22 PM
    He wasn't perfect by any means but he was a beautiful person with a heart of gold! He will be missed truly, and I am sorry I did not have a chance to say good-bye! We went thru our ups and downs but when push came to shove we knew we could always count on each other! In my heart he will remain forever!!
  • by dyan Location: tazewell on Nov 26, 2008 at 07:19 PM
    Why is it that everone is so called "Metally ill" now when they do bad or something happens, what ever happened to he or she was just plian Mean
  • by upurs Location: knox on Nov 25, 2008 at 09:14 PM
    Look a the mug shot portrait no doubt a drug filled past and probably drug related end
  • by Anonymous on Nov 25, 2008 at 06:32 PM
    I think this is very unfair you people are judgeing a man on his past and your not even taking the time to look at his present he was a good person with a great heart and he did not deserve to die this way... I will always love him !!! Chocolate
  • by Nunya Location: Nashville on Nov 24, 2008 at 08:47 PM
    Mr. Martin is obviously still riddled with grief over the injustice of his mother's murder, but to say he doesn't feel sorry for the loss of another human life - that sounds worse than bad. Also, was he aware that the victim has a history of mental health issues?! Of course not. Because he is making judgments about a man he does not know. I hope he did find God - God makes the sun shine on both the sinners & the saints & we are not to judge who is who.


6450 Papermill Drive Knoxville, TN 37919 Phone - (865) 450-8888; Fax - (865) 450-8869
Copyright © 2015 WVLT-TV Inc. - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 35014129 -
Gray Television, Inc.