Written by Lyle Ahrens, Posted: Fri, March 15 2013 at 3:27 PM, Updated: Fri, March 15 2013 at 3:40 PM
A Lakeview man showed no remorse while being sentenced to life in prison for murdering his wife...Martin Brown even stuck out his tongue at the victim's family while leaving the courtroom.
47 year old Valerie Watts died in June of 2012 after she was strangled with a boot lace.
"She was amazing." Remembered Melissa Watts, the victim's daughter. "She was the best Mom I could ever ask for. She was my best friend."
Lake County District Attorney Ulys Stapleton notes that Watts' body was found in a utility trailer at a campsite about 25 miles from Lakeview...
"Her body was not recovered right away, and we believe that it was strangulation."
Her 56 year old husband Martin Brown pled 'guilty' to her murder in Lake County Court...
"We were drinking - maybe too much - passed out, or blacked out - I have no idea of what happened."
A friend of the family read a note from the victim's father...
"You should be getting the death penalty - just like you gave Valerie. But unfortunately, that is not going to happen."
The victim's former husband Warren Watts also spoke to Brown...
"Her grand-baby will never know her Nana again. May you rot in hell, you b******."
Brown showed no remorse during the sentencing, as a friend of the victim made a statement...
"You don't deserve the easy way out. You're a coward. A flat-out coward."
Brown made one final non-verbal statement, sticking out his tongue at the family on his way out of the courtroom.
"It was very disrespectful." Noted Melissa Watts. "And it showed to me that he got pleasure out of this thing."
Valerie Watts' daughter Taylor Watts agreed, adding: "That he's sick and disgusting. That he really does need to rot in prison."
Brown will not be eligible for parole until 2038.
The negotiated plea of 'murder' was amended from an earlier charge of 'murder, constituting domestic violence.'
Judge Lane Simpson noted that he was somewhat 'offended' by the revision, stating "It was a slap in the face of victims everywhere."
KOTI-TV NBC2 reporter Lyle Ahrens moved from Nebraska to Klamath Falls in the late 1970's. He instantly fell in love with the mountains, the trees and the rivers, and never once regretted the move.
Lyle's job history is quite colorful. He’s managed a pizza parlor; he’s been a bartender, and a “kiwifruit grader” at an organic orchard in New Zealand. A Klamath Falls radio station hired Lyle in the mid 90's as a news writer and commercial producer. In 2004, Lyle joined the KOTI/KOBI news operation.
Lyle notes with pride that he has a big responsibility presenting the Klamath Basin to a wide and varied audience. "The on-going water crisis has underscored the fact that the people and the issues in the Klamath Basin are every bit as diverse as the terrain. Winning and keeping the trust of the viewers, as well as the newsmakers, is something I strive for with each story".
When he's not busy reporting the news, Lyle enjoys astronomy, playing guitar, fixing old radios and listening to anything by Sheryl Crow.