East Point man sentenced to life for killing girlfriend, unborn child

A 24-year-old East Point man was sentenced Thursday to two consecutive life sentences plus 25 years in prison for murdering his girlfriend and her unborn child.

Roderick Watkins was convicted of two counts of murder and feticide along with weapons and drug charges that were brought in the March 14, 2012, fatal shooting..

According to testimony, Watkins shot 21-year-old Ashley Clark, who was pregnant, while she was sitting on the sofa, clutching a pillow.

Then he called 911 to come to the Laurel Ridge Way apartment, claiming his live-in girlfriend had accidentally shot herself as she was handing him a gun. A ballistics expert with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation said that was impossible, based on the evidence.

The investigation also found Watkins had been abusing Clark, his high school girlfriend, for years.

“It pains me to ask,” Fulton District Attorney Howard said, “but I wonder how many more women and children must die before domestic violence is eliminated from our community.”

As far back as 2008, Watkins viciously beat Clark with a belt after learning she had been involved with someone else during one of their break-ups, according to testimony.

Clark also documented the abuse in her diary and she wrote how unhappy Watkins was that she was pregnant.

Clark wrote in one entry that Watkins “plans on making me have a miscarriage. If that happens, I will never forgive him for as long as I live.”

She also wrote, “All I can do is keep praying to God that he protects me and my baby.”