October 13, 2022

Two sentenced for murder in separate Lincoln County cases this week

Therese Apel

A Bogue Chitto man has been sentenced to life plus 10 years in the shooting death of Wesley O. Watts of Jayess.

Authorities say on Monday, Judge David Strong sentenced Troy Galarza, 54. He was accused in Watts’ shooting death in 2018 when Watts’ body was found near Galarza’s home. He was arrested that day on a bench warrant out of Rankin County. He was charged with Watts’ murder in January 2019.

Assistant District Attorneys Brendon Adams and Rodney Tidwell tried the case, which took three days. Galarza was convicted of first degree murder and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Sheriff Steve Rushing said the murder may have occurred earlier than December. He was last seen in a black pickup truck at the Pricedale One Stop on Hwy. 44 on November 5. His body was found a month later.

Galarza was also charged with a double homicide in 2004 when the bodies of two people were found in a ditch with a chemical poured over them to mask the smell. He pled the charge down to manslaughter, and was still under post-release supervision when Watts was killed.

“Today is one of those days that makes my job enjoyable. Meeting with families that have lost a loved one, being able to hug them and helping them get as much justice as I can, as well as holding those who committed crimes accountable for their actions,” Adams said on his Facebook.

In a separate case, Richard Motes was sentenced to life in prison plus 10 years after being convicted in the December 2020 murder of Tyler McLeod.

With Adams and District Attorney Dee Bates prosecuting, Judge Mike Taylor handed down the sentence Tuesday afternoon.

Moats was convicted of First Degree Murder, Home Invasion and simple Domestic Violence.

“Thank you again to all those who who were involved in the cases from the various agencies,” Adams said. “I always tell my kids we are working to make this world a little safer than the one we found.”

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