Veronica, Giovanni's mother was born in East Los Angeles, an only child, birth to Clara who later divorced her father and married Frank Goossens from the early '80s to the present. Veronica met Giovanni's father at United Airlines and married on November 1st, 1997. Giovanni's father wanted to move to Nevada and Veronica agreed, believing that change would be good and a new environment. At a young age, Veronica did not want to have children as she had experienced trauma as a child and she did not want to have children to experience any kind of pain. Her plans were to become a Psychologist and to help others. Unfortunately, she was in her last semester to graduate from the California State University of Dominguez Hills when she was told that her spouse was sick and needed her before she was to graduate from school. She left in the middle of the semester and left to live in Nevada and help her spouse get better so he could return to work. This was a decision she made but did not realize it was one that would affect her from graduating any time soon.
Three months after she got married she became pregnant, she was surprised, ironically it was her husband who told her she was pregnant, he told her that she was glowing. She didn't believe it but it was true she was pregnant, they had a son, Alexander Marcellino on 11.4.1998. The nurses mixed up his birth certificate and placed his name wrong but to the family he is Marcellino. The marriage became violent after she became pregnant and she was in complete shock how could this happen to her? She was educated, her spouse was a licensed pilot with a degree in computer science and he made a 180-degree turn after they married, she thought this could not be happening to her. She was ashamed of what was going on and she had waited until she was 32 years old to marry even though she had been proposed to before, she didn't take marriage lightly and wanted to make sure she would never divorce. How could she leave now? How could she come back home to California with a failed marriage, with a child on the way? She thought things would get better and there were times things did but the violence occurred again so she left her spouse and did not return to California. They were scheduled to go to divorce court, and they ended up canceling the divorce on the day of the court date. They tried counseling when they reunited but then they started having problems again with his lying, and infidelity, and she could not take it anymore and asked for a divorce and left him a second time and final time. He knew he went too far this time, so he rushed to file for a divorce. There was no negotiating this time of making it work, the only problem was that this time, they had just had a son who was only 6 months old when she left.
Giovanni Melton was born on 2.18.2003 at the St Rose Hospital in Henderson, Nevada. Giovanni was a beautiful soul, his name in Hebrew means "Gift from God," and he certainly was. He was a happy child from months old. As he got older he was a child that loved others and was always the one to help his friends. He would protect his fellow friends if they were being bullied in school. He was the class clown and teachers would try and control the class when he would start to act funny, the teachers would confess they tried so hard not to laugh themselves so they could regain order. One of his teachers was also one of our church members from the LDS church and she told us Giovanni would sometimes not finish his class work when he saw someone struggling and would gravitate to helping his friends before finishing his own class work. He was also selected as the ambassador anytime a new child started school, he would show them around and introduce them to friends, teachers, and the school grounds.
The children's father played many games after they divorced and would promise to see them and would hurt their feelings when he would not show up and blamed their mother for not spending time with them. He would tell the boys he had to pay for child support and that was the reason he could not see them when he was scheduled to see them. Little by little he worked on the boys to do bad and turn them against their mother who was trying to give them a good life with the help of friends, the LDS church, and the Dojo, having them take Karate lessons to learn respect and how to defend themselves.
Giovanni attended Jim Thorpe Elementary, Treem Elementary, and Thurman White Middle School. Later after having family issues with her oldest son, she took the oldest son to her ex-husband's home so that his father could take care of him and help him with his issues. Unfortunately, Giovanni jumped out of the van and would not let his brother be by himself and got out of the car, his mother began chasing Giovanni around the car, she did not want her youngest son to get out of the car, she wanted to bring him home. Giovanni demanded to be with his brother, so she allowed Giovanni to be with his brother. She dropped off the boys at her ex-husband's house when his current wife opened the door. Then a month later her ex-husband said let's make this legal I will file for primary legal custody and you can have visitation, Veronica was surprised but happy thinking he was finally going to take responsibility and have the boys in his life. Veronica agreed and they went to court.
Then when she would try calling the boys her ex-spouse would give excuses why she could not speak to them. Then her grandmother called Veronica about a few weeks later to let her know that the boys were living with Veronica's mother in California. Her ex-spouse knew she no longer had a relationship with her own mother due to his manipulations and her mother would always take his side when they were married, even after she was beaten up by him. Veronica believed maybe the boys would be better with her mother and her stepfather since they didn't work anymore and they could devote all their time to the boys. Veronica never wanted to send her children to their father's house, but she could not tolerate her oldest son making physical threats to her. She was unaware of the events that unraveled in California. Marcellino ended up moving in with a girlfriend, Giovanni moved in with another family and Veronica's mother never called to tell her what was happening to her children. They would only call Veronica when they needed money and didn't tell her they were no longer at grandma's house. Giovanni then began living with his best friend who was a girl who had mental issues apparently he was the only one that would help her, calm her down and she would listen. The father of the young girl agreed to have Giovanni stay with them, and Giovanni's father agreed to sign a legal guardian document, and when asked about Giovanni's mother, Giovanni's father lied and stated that she had not been in Giovanni's life for many years. Giovanni began living with his friend and her family, whose father was a Principal at a school. Months later the Principal called Giovanni's father to pick him up because Giovanni was having issues and was trying to self-medicate by smoking marijuana.
Giovanni finally moved back to Henderson, Nevada, and around August 2017, he called his mother Veronica and they began seeing each other, although Veronica had a broken ankle and could not drive, she began seeing him with her wheelchair by getting a ride and meeting Giovanni at The Sunset Station Casino to eat and then go across the street so she can purchase his school clothes since he was going to start school at the end of the month. This was the day Giovanni opened up in front of his friend at the buffet table and told her he was gay. She told him " Okay, son." Then he said, "No mom you didn't hear me, I'm gay." She told him, Yes, I heard you son. "I knew before you did baby." What she didn't tell him is that a mother always knows when their children are different. After her ankle started healing she began picking up the boys, Giovanni and his boyfriend Jesse, and going to lunch, shopping, and enjoying their company.
November 2nd, 2017. This was a day that was very unusual, it was the day she began checking Giovanni's grades online and saw that he had not attended his first two classes. She first thought maybe his father had taken him to the doctor's office because weeks before she told his father to take Giovanni to the doctor because Giovanni was telling her that he was feeling anxious and she wanted to have the doctor check him. She felt it was spiritual in nature telling her not to call and to wait, she had already gotten ready and was about to leave the home and pick up Giovanni to take him to school. Then she picked up the phone to call Giovanni a few minutes later again and something told her to hand up and not to call. A few minutes later received a knock at the door. The strangers began knocking at her door and then yelling her name. She was in shock who was at her door? She was not expecting anyone. It was a Henderson Police officer and a woman. She let them in and asked them to sit down. They said no, ma'am if you can sit first. She was given her ex-husband's name and asked if she was his ex-wife. She said yes, then she was asked if her son's name was Giovanni. She said yes, then in her mind she thought oh my, Giovanni must have run away from home or got caught shoplifting or something. Then she was told that her ex-husband had gone to the apartment and that the neighbors heard loud arguments and then a loud gunshot and then silence. She was told that her son was shot by her ex-husband and that he did not survive. Veronica was in disbelief and told them, no there must be some mistake, as she turned around and pointed to her son's pictures mounted on her wall. The police told her that they saw Giovanni and that it was him. This is the day that Veronica stated she died too.....
She was later told by the police that her ex-husband had rented the apartment for Giovanni because his current wife would not allow the boys to live with him at his house so he rented an apartment and was not living with Giovanni. The news went around the world, the news spread like wildfire, her uncle knew about the murder before Veronica had a chance to tell her grandmother. He had called the grandmother from Ipswich England and was told this was not true, only to be contacted by Veronica later that day and tell her grandmother that her great-grandson was murdered, by his father.
The community, friends, Senator Kelvin Atkinson, Al, Blue, The Center, The LDS Church, other Senators, Lobbyist, and Serenity Funeral Home, came together and helped her pay for all the expenses for his church services, singers, performers, casket, flowers, limousine services, the burial site, and the beautiful black heart marker dedicated to her son. She always told her son he was her heart. It was the hardest thing Veronica had ever experienced in her life and it was unbearable for her. Every time she closed her eyes, all she could see was her son's face of surprise when her ex-husband shot him. It was hard to eat, sleep, and function, and all she wanted was to die. It took her 5 months to stop asking God to take her. The only thing that kept her living was knowing that if she died too, it would be too much for her only son to go through. Marcellino was still in California and not in Nevada. Later Marcellino told his mother that he had been on the phone with his brother the day he was murdered for about 3 or 4 hours, catching up since they had not spoken to each other for a little while. Then he said Giovanni told him, I will call you back, dads's at the door, and then he never got the call back from Giovanni.
In retrospect, Veronica says, she knew her ex-husband was a homophobic person because when they were married he would say terrible things about any LGBTQ person they would see in public. That always bothered her because she would tell him we all have a right to be who we are. After Giovanni was murdered her other son Marcellino told her that his dad was always bugging him, he would ask Marcellino if his brother was gay, and he would tell him, I do not know, why don't you ask him yourself? Then Marcellino had told his mother that his father pulled a gun on Giovanni previously when he caught Giovanni with his boyfriend Jesse. She asked Marcellino why they didn't tell her before and Marcellino said, we didn't want to tell you because we knew you would have gone looking for him.