- Written by: Veronica Melton
- Category: Uncategorised
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This story is about a young boy that was born in Henderson, Nevada to Veronica Melton and his father. Giovanni's family moved from California to Nevada to give their boys a better life and live in a safe environment, go to a good school and have a chance at the American dream of getting a good education, working hard, being successful, and raising a family. Veronica was very protective of her sons and unfortunately, she divorced her spouse due to domestic violence. As time when on, she found herself raising her two young boys by herself as a single mother. She attended the LDS church and decided to live in an area close to the church and across the street from a daycare, elementary school, middle school, and a mile away from a high school. She had plans for her children, to be successful and to be strong.
Unfortunately, it was not easy, because her ex-husband Wendell would look at any opportunity to discredit any of their achievements, and also brainwash them to not respect their mother, and criticize the boys when they attended karate school, church outings, hobbies, or attending church. He tried to do his best to make them feel bad and make them think that nobody liked them because they were Black. This was a hard thing to experience, both Giovanni and his brother Alexander were misguided by their father, and they listened to the misguidance of their father. As time when on, they yearned for their father's attention and tried to impress them by doing bad things against the teachings of their mother and church.
By November 2015 Veronica started having issues with her oldest son and then took him to live with his father due to issues at home. Wendell agreed and asked Veronica to make it official and to go to court so that he would have primary custody of the boys. She never wanted to have Giovanni live with him but Giovanni did not want to separate from his brother Alexander. The judge stated that the boys could live with Wendell but that he was not to take the boys to California to live, but could take the boys to visit their grandmothers. Soon after Wendell decided to take the boys to California to stay live with Veronica's mother knowing that they were not speaking to each other because of him. So the boys began living with Veronica's mother and she found out that they ended up with her mom, and thought that maybe that would be better than staying with Wendell. Of course, she knew if anything happened then her mother would of course tell her.
Time passed and unbeknownst to Veronica, Alexander and Giovanni were having issues with living with their parents and Giovanni was living with different people but she was not informed. She had limited communication with her sons and they would call her sporadically and would take her calls if they needed money. Then Giovanni contacted his mother in August 2017 to let her know that he was living in Henderson again and living with his dad in an apartment. At the time Veronica had limited transportation due to healing from a broken ankle and met Giovanni at the Sunset Casino to have lunch with him and his friend Jesse. It was that day that he came out to his mother to tell her that he was gay. She told him, okay, and he said no mom I do not think you heard me, I am gay. Then she told him baby I knew before you did. She told him that she loved him no matter what. She visited his apartment a couple of times and bought him furniture and decorations for the apartment.
On November 2, 2017, she was checking his grades online and noticed that he had not attended his first two classes. She decided to get ready and go to the apartment and pick him up and take him to his school. She attempted to call him or his father to find out where he was but did not call. Instead, she was going to just go to the apartment herself and pick him up without him knowing. After the third time of not calling her son, she heard a knock at the door and it was the police and a woman. She answered the door and was given the horrific news that her ex-husband Wendell Melton had gone to the apartment and had a loud argument with Giovanni and then killed their child. The neighbors recognized his voice because they were used to hearing him call Giovanni names because he was gay. This time they heard a very loud argument and then a gunshot and then the house was quiet.
When Veronica heard the news from the police officer she could not believe what they were saying, she told them that this was a mistake, as she was pointing to the pictures of Giovanni on the wall. They told her that it was true and watched her collapse in horror. This was the kind of news that no mother wanted to hear and she was in shock. She then had to communicate this news to her other son, mother, grandmother, aunt, and church. It was a horror and she was in shock. Her fiance' at the time was away and the police had to call him to comfort her in her time of crisis.
Since Veronica was not working due to her broken ankle, she was unable to give Giovanni a proper burial. She had to go to the morgue and identity her son's body along with her aunt Alejandra and her mother, and Kevin. The next day she was contacted by the morgue and was told that a person wanted to speak to her and asked for her phone number. Unbeknownst to her, it was Senator Kelvin Atkinson that wanted to help the family with funeral arrangements and had left a message for the morgue to allow him to contact her. The senator helped raise funds to pay for a church, funeral costs including Giovanni's casket, transportation, decorations, singers, performers, and cost for the second church that would hold more guests, and the burial site along with a marker. Andre Crockett at the Serenity Funeral home took care of Giovanni with a lot of love and was very sad because he found out from the family that the real cause of death was homophobia. The Senator along with the Late Tyrone Thompson stayed with Veronica for about 4 hours to help make all the arrangements, and they also raise money with his contacts, lobbyists, friends, other senators, the Center, and The Catholic LGBTQ church, and private donors. Together with the LDS church and friends, Veronica received donations to cover all of the funeral expenses for her son.