Neighbours of a 14-year-old whose father has been charged with murder claim the teenager was killed because of his sexuality.
Wendell Melton, 53, has been charged with murdering his son Giovanni in cold blood on Thursday, November 2, police in Henderson, Nevada, have revealed.
According to neighbours, there was a heated argument between the pair and then gun shots were heard.
Giovanni's former foster mother, Wendell, has revealed that his father was strongly against his sexuality, and she believes it was the reason behind the murder.
She told 3 News: ‘He hated the fact that his son was gay.
"I’m sure that inside of his mind, he would rather have a dead son than a gay son," she said.
In fact, things had become so bad that Wendell had previously drawn a gun on Giovanni after walking in on him with his boyfriend.
"Giovanni was abused physically and mentally and spiritually for many, many years," she added. “I hope they throw the book at him. I hope he never sees the light of day, I hope every day when he looks in the mirror, he sees his son’s face.”
Wendell Melton is facing charges of murder, child abuse, and prohibited possession of a firearm.
Under Nevada law, attacking another person because of his or her sexual orientation is considered a hate crime.