Final defendant sentenced in 2018 murder of Chase Loffler, of Social Circle

Second murder defendant also gets life without possibility of parole

Alcovy Judicial Circuit District Attorney Randy McGinley announced that the last defendant in the murder of Chase Loffler has been sentenced. Jonathan Britt Lester entered a guilty plea in January and, after the Georgia Department of Community Supervision completed a Pre-Sentence Investigation, he was sentenced earlier this month to life without the possibility of parole.

At the hearing on June 2, family and friends of the victim provided victim impact statements to the Court of how this crime has affected their lives. Lester also presented testimony of family and friends on his behalf. The Court then heard arguments from both the State and defense regarding sentencing and ultimately agreed with the state that the appropriate sentence for this case was life without parole.

Contributed photo: Victim, Chase Loffler

“For 5+ years this case has been pending and the Loffler family has been awaiting justice. The two individuals responsible for the murder, Kolbie Watters and Lester, went into federal custody for a lengthy period of time, which was also delayed due to Covid. Both have now been sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. The others who concealed the death and tampered with evidence have been sentenced to prison as well,” McGinley said. “While none of this brings Chase back, those involved being held responsible do bring some level of closure for Chase’s family and friends. We hope that they are able to continue the process of healing and thank them for being in court every step of the way.”

McGinley thanked the many agencies who contributed to the investigation, arrests and final justice obtained for Loffler in this case.

Watters and Lester were arrested in April 2018 and charged with felony murder and aggravated assault in the death of Loffler, 25 at the time, whose body was found buried in the backyard of Lester’s Loganville home. The two were accused of beating and suffocating Loffler and burying his body in a shallow grave on the property. Watter’s father, Gene Watters, was charged with concealing evidence in the case at that time.

From left: Kolbie Watters and Jonathan Britt Lester, both sentenced to life without the possibility of parole in the murder of Chase David Loffler.

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