Jonathan Britt Lester, 21, the second suspect charged with murder in the case involving the body that was found buried in Loganville, has been extradited from Asheville, NC, and is now in custody at the Walton County Detention Center in Monroe. He, along with Kolbie Hadden Watters, also 21, are both charged with felony murder and aggravated assault. A third suspect, Kolbie Watters’ father, Roger Gene Watters, 44, is charged with tampering with evidence.
Walton County Sheriff Joe Chapman said they are still awaiting DNA identification of the body that was found buried on the Lester family property on Friday, April 6, 2018. He said once they have a confirmed identity, they will release that along with cause of death.
Walton County Sheriff Joe Chapman confirmed that murder charges have now been filed against one of the two men currently held in Walton County jail in connection with the body found Friday morning in Walton County. Kolbie Hadden Watters, 21, is charged with felony murder and aggravated assault. His father, Roger Gene Watters, 44, is charged with tampering with evidence. A third man involved in the alleged murder, Jonathan Britt Lester, 21, is currently jailed in Buncombe County, N.C. charged with a gun violation and awaiting extradition to Newton County on drug charges.
WCSO confirmed on its Facebook page that he too will be charged with felony murder and aggravated assault. Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office confirmed that he is being held on $63,000 bond and is due for a hearing in Buncombe County on April 30, 2018. The body of the missing man was found on property in the Loganville area owned by the Lester family.
Gene Watters, the former owner of Sycamore Street Pizzeria in Social Circle, was charged in August 2016 in a shooting incident in the restaurant after he was shot. He was charged after police reported that he was the initial aggressor and was shot in self-defense.
Chapman said he was not prepared to give out the name of the missing man until identification has been confirmed by the Georgia Bureau of Investigations.
“I don’t expect that until Monday or Tuesday. It will have to be confirmed by DNA,” Chapman said.
The sheriff said in his 30 years in law enforcement, he has never seen an investigation that worked so flawlessly. On the Facebook page, the WCSO thanked the following agencies for assisting in the investigation: Barrow County Sheriffs Office, Oconee County Sheriffs Office, Morgan County Sheriffs Office, Newton County Sheriffs Office, Elbert County Sheriffs Office, Madison County Sheriffs Office, the GBI, the FBI, the DEA,The Secret Service, Social Circle Police Department, Asheville Police Department North Carolina, Walton County District Attorney’s Office, Clarke County Sheriffs Office and Georgia State Patrol as well as WCSO and WCSO CID.
At a press conference on Friday, April 6, 2018, Walton County Sheriff’s Joe Chapman reported that the body of a man was discovered at about 10 a.m. this morning at a property in the Loganville area of Walton County. Three men, two a father and son and one currently being extradited from outside the state, have been arrested and charged in connection with the incident. At this time the Georgia Bureau of Investigation is helping identify the body, which is currently wrapped in some sort of covering.
Chapman said they are not releasing the name of the person they believe it to be until they are sure that all family members have been notified. They also are not releasing the names of those in custody. They are currently charged with drug offenses and tampering with evidence. The body, however, was discovered on the property of one of the suspects. Chapman said the investigation, led by Lt. Kirk McLeroy, began after a man was reported missing last month. McLeroy believed foul play was involved and the investigation has now led to the discovery of a body and the arrest of the three. Chapman said he expected murder charges to be filed at some point.
Chapman said this is a larger case than they are used to dealing with. Outside of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the Walton County Sheriff’s Office, other agencies involved in the investigation included the Secret Service, the DEA, the FBI, the Walton County District Attorney’s Office and Social Circle City Police. The scene is currently still blocked off as a crime scene. Chapman said it is off Walker Bennett Road in the Loganville area of Walton County.
McLeroy said that the person was reported missing on March 29, 2018 and although he is from another county, he was reported missing in Walton County. He confirmed that all three men arrested in connection with this incident are from Walton County, including a resident of the property where the body was located, reported to be 5999 Walker Bennett Road, Loganville.