Mother says justice served after son’s murder at music studio

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INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Next week a lengthy and complex murder case comes to a close.

Two men will be sentenced for their roles in the crime at an Indianapolis music studio.

Nearly a year and a half after the murder, the victim’s mother talked only to 24-Hour News 8 about the ordeal, and how her son’s legacy is helping other kids.

Debra Watson’s youngest son, Thomas Keys, was killed in that shooting. Watson’s nephew played dead and managed to escape and helped police solve this case.

“His smile, his personality. He liked to make people laugh and have fun,” said Watson.

That’s what Watson said she’ll remember most about her son.

“He was my baby boy,” she said.

Keys was an aspiring Disc Jockey, with the nickname “D.J. Keys”. As Watson looked over pictures, she imagined the life Keys could have had in music.

“He liked putting music together and like to see people; entertaining people,” Watson said.

Keys life ended inside a north side music studio November 15, 2012. Police charged 6 people for their role in his murder and the attempted murder of his cousin.

Investigators said both men were lured to the music studio to work on music, but instead they were duct taped and zip tied and questioned for hours about the murder of someone else.

“Not only did they take his life and ruined ours, they ruined their own,” said Watson.

Watson has gone to every trial. She said hearing what happened to her son and nephew over the past year and a half in court has been rough.

“It’s been extremely hard; going there and to see the young men, the guys that have done it,” she said.

Watson said justice has been served. not just for her, but for the three children Keys leaves behind.

“I have to be here to help raise them and then, my oldest son has to be there for them,” Watson said.

Watson has started the Thomas Garret Keys Foundation in memory of her son. The Foundation works with youth in the community with tutoring and to try and keep them out of trouble.

The foundation will host it’s second annual event on June 21, 2012 at Riverside Park in Indianapolis. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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