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Defense seeks to hide testimony in Watlington wrongful death lawsuit

Kelli Stegeman

Photo: Video by fox4now.com

Defense seeks to hide testimony in Watlington wrongful death lawsuit

CREATED Aug. 8, 2013 - UPDATED: Aug. 9, 2013

LEE COUNTY, Fla. -  It's been 10 months since a Fort Myers boy was struck and killed by lightning outside of his school.

There's a part to that story that lawyers from one side don't want you to know. 
 
11-year-old Jesse Watlington died last October while at football practice for Southwest Florida Chrisitan Academy, which is part of McGregor Baptist Church. 
 
The family and the church are battling it out over a wrongful death lawsuit. 
 
The Watlington family filed the suit saying there should have been lightning detection on the field and coaches should have known CPR. They're calling the school negligent and reckless.  
 
The Watlingtons are also hoping this lawsuit will expose what they call untruths by Senior Pastor Richard Powell. 
 
Thursday afternoon in Lee County court defense lawyers asked a judge for Pastor Powell's upcoming deposition to be kept from the public. 
 
"I died the day my son died," said Jesse's father Chuck. "We cry everyday; all of us do."
 
Now, the emotions of the day their son jesse died 10 months ago are relieved in court. 
 
"What do they have to hide is what we want to know," Watlington said. "I just want the facts to come out. I want the truth to come out so my son will be the last little boy needlessly killed by lightning in the lightning capital of the world."
 
Watlington believes Pastor Powell gave conflicting statements about the presence of a lightning detector on the day Jesse died on the football field. Watlington is also accusing him of witholding donations for Jesse's fund. 
 
"When your child is killed due to the gross negligence of others, you don't have time to prepare," said Chuck. 
 
The Watlingtons say it was just too much to stay in Fort Myers. They recently moved to Orlando for privacy and a fresh start. 
 
"We just have to take it dayby-day," said Chuck. "We have no long term for the future. We're just devastated."
 
While the Watlingtons wait for the lawsuit to play out, Chuck says they continue to pray, no longer with Jesse, but for Jesse.
 
"We ask God, Jesus to please give Jesse a hug and a kiss for us and let him know that we miss and love him so much."
 
FOX 4 reached out to the attorney for Pastor Powell and McGregor Baptist Church but have yet to hear back. 
 
A ruling by the judge regarding the pastor's deposition was not Thursday. It could happen in the next few days or even the next month.

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