Neighbors react to Sugar Notch homicide

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SUGAR NOTCH, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — A woman is found dead in Luzerne County Sunday and her son is behind bars.

Police say 60-year-old Patricia Watkins was beaten to death in her Sugar Notch home along Maffet Street. They say 39-year-old Erik Watkins is the suspect of the crime.

The criminal complaint says, when state police arrived at the house, he admitted to killing his mother. Neighbors Monday night are saying it’s not something you’d expect from a close-knit community.

Eyewitness News spoke to several neighbors Monday, all who are still in shock over the death of Patricia Watkins. But all agreed until this weekend this has always been a quiet neighborhood.

“It’s so sad. I just can’t believe it happened to her,” neighbor Ellen Black said.

Neighbors in the quiet community in Sugar Notch are devastated over the death of their neighbor.

“It’s just like, nothing like this happens up here. It’s just so not right,” neighbor Maryann Black said.

Watkins was found beaten to death in her Sugar Notch home on Maffett Street early Sunday morning. Police have charged her son, 39-year-old Erik Watkins in connection to her death.

Neighbors like Ellen and Maryann Black say they have known Patricia for the past couple of years.

Though Patricia was fairly new to the neighborhood, they spoke very highly of her. They both described her as a nice person and a neighbor you could depend on.

Ellen black, neighbor
“She was a good person. She would help anyone and her son Jerry is the same way. I didn’t know Erik, I had no knowings or anythings about him,” Ellen said.

Maryann said Patricia was so kind and would even offer her rides.

“The mom was just wonderful. She would give me a ride when I needed a ride,” Maryann said.

Just up the street, neighbor Daniel Beseda says he didn’t know Patricia as well as the Black sisters, but she was always friendly.

“She was very nice. She said hello, she did her own thing, she would be out in the yard, and she would acknowledge that you were there,” Beseda said.

He recalls Patricia always stopping to admire their Christmas decorations.

“She always commented on how we decorated and stuff like that,” Beseda said.

Erik Watkins has been charged with criminal homicide. He remains in jail without bail.

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