Robbie Watson

Investigative Reporter

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Articles

Former School Custodians Facing Child Sex Charges

Two former school custodians were arrested this past weekend for felony sex charges. People  familiar with the couple who worked locally as school custodians were shocked to hear of the arrest and the nature…

Shooting Victim Gives Facebook Live Update

A shooting victim took to social media to let friends and family know he was okay after a triple shooting late Thursday. Police and emergency personnel responded to the Hood Street Apartments around 9:30…

Friends Watch Victim Overdose, Dump Body In Cemetery

Friends of a local woman watched her overdose and then dumped her body according to a Police Detective. 34 year old Michelle Chambers was discovered dead and partially clothed at a local cemetery in…

Realtor Recovering After Robbery, Stabbing

A popular realtor is recovering after being robbed and stabbed repeatedly. Dan Parker was coming out of the Rosehill Seafood Restaurant when the suspect approached him on foot and stabbed him multiple times. Blood…

Local Voters Flock to Polls for Runoff

Local voters head back to the polls for a December runoff and statewide showdown for Georgia’s Secretary of State. The race for Georgia’s Secretary of State and Public Service Commissioner not normally a barn…

Suspect Vehicle Linked to Double Murder Located

The suspect vehicle wanted in connection with a double murder has been located. Police Major JD Hawk tells First News that white Ford truck they found here on Henry Avenue is the exact same…

Columbus Toddler, Father Shot Dead

A Columbus Toddler was one of two people shot dead early Tuesday morning. Columbus Police responding to a vacant property on Stuart Drive discovered the gruesome scene. A father and his three year old…

Officer Recovering After Thanksgiving Crash

A Columbus Police cruiser was destroyed and the officer driving it was sent to the hospital after a Thanksgiving day crash. The incident happened here at one of the busiest intersections in Columbus at…

DA: Lack of Cooperation Delays Death Penalty Case

A Chambers County DA told a Judge he needs cooperation from the Columbus Police Department to move forward with a death penalty case against Stacey Gray. The family of Renee Eldridge has routinely shown…

Police Pilot Killed In Helicopter Crash

UPDATE A pilot for the Columbus Police Department is feared dead after a helicopter crash. Russell County Sheriff Heath Taylor said a co pilot may have been picked up in Auburn and was on…

Lawsuit: Police Shooting “Shocks the Conscience”

A second federal lawsuit has been filed against the City of Columbus, former police officer Allan Brown, and Police Chief Ricky Boren. The lawsuit stems from a high speed chase across state lines involving…

Police Shooting Prompts Civil Rights Claims

A police shooting two years ago is prompting a flurry of civil lawsuits against the City of Columbus and the former officer involved. The attorneys representing the three parties involved vowed to take the…

Spencer Teacher Accused of Sex With Student

The Spencer High School teacher was taken into police custody on Halloween after Investigators were tipped off to multiple social media posts referencing the alleged sexual encounters. The Muscogee County School District was apparently…

Brian Kemp Takes Exception To “Outsiders”

Brian Kemp’s supporters got up before the chickens here to see the Republican candidate for Governor one last time with less than a week now to go before the midterm election. “Look, I’m just…

Stacey Abrams: Prison #1 Mental Health Provider

Stacey Abrams rolled into town with her “We Are Georgia” bus tour for one of her final campaign stops in Columbus before Election Day. The Governor hopeful caught the raucous crowd here at Columbus…

Road Rage Shooter Requests Immunity

The road rage shooter accused of gunning down retired Army combat medic Lorenzo Freeman SR. in the parking lot of a Fort Mitchell Dollar General is using a “stand your ground” defense. Justin Davidson…

Teen Shot Dead in His Own Yard

A teen  was shot dead in his own South Columbus yard baffling neighbors and family members. The mother of the victim wailed on the sidewalk as investigators scoured the scene for clues. Witnesses reported…

Bloody Walls Lead Cops To Gruesome Scene

Bloody walls and dog fur lead to the arrest of a local teenager. The Columbus teen was living in foster care when the stray dog caught his attention. The black dog wouldn’t leave the…

Veteran Remembered as Symbol of Strength

Family and friends gathered to remember not so much about how John Dawson died but how the three war veteran lived, 92 years faithful to God, his Country and his family. Dawson was attacked…

Three War Veteran Killed By Home Intruder

John Dawson was a three war veteran having survived WWII, Korea and Vietnam. At 92 years old he was doing yard work and tending to his wife the day Detectives say a mentally deranged…

Property Owner Squares Off Against Water Works

  The property owner of a South Columbus mobile home park is squaring off against the Columbus Water Works after they shut the water off. With temperatures still soaring near the upper 80’s, residents…

Suspect Chased Victim in Traffic Before Shooting

A Columbus police detective recounted in graphic detail how Markel Ervin, armed with a 9mm handgun allegedly chased the victim, Destinee Virgin in traffic before unloading his firearm in front of horrified witnesses. According…

Murder Cases Bogged Down by State Mental Evaluations

The lead Prosecutor in Russell County like others across the state of Alabama is sounding the alarm. Ken Davis tells First News the lack of funding for the court’s mental health system is having…

Murder Suspect Made Bond Days After Kidnapping

A murder suspect was captured in Harris County and returned to Columbus for a preliminary hearing. The Chief Deputy with the Harris County Sheriff’s Department tells First News they recieved multiple calls Sunday about…

Snipes Victim Charged with Aggravated Battery

Travis Gonzales appeared as a sympathetic victim to a local attorney’s theft scheme a few short months ago but a Detective’s testimony paints Gonzales in a very different light. A Columbus Police detective testified…

Business Bandits Target North, South Columbus

Business Bandits are targeting local businesses during predawn hours. Police investigators tell First News they aren’t ready to single out one  group of suspects responsible for a rash of recent business robberies. It could…

VA Picks Blue Cross Building for New Clinic

The big news that the old Blue Cross Blue Shield building is being transformed into a new VA Clinic was actually announced locally via an email from Congressman Sanford Bishop’s office late Thursday. It…

Carjacked Mom: I Was Calling Jesus

The carjacked mom who didn’t know the fate of her four year old said she was calling Jesus after the suspect took off with her four year old inside. According to court testimony police…

Phenix City Voters Decide on Elected School Board

For years Phenix City voters have been batting this idea around of whether to have an elected school board or stick with an appointed one. The voters, without much fanfare are finally speaking their…

Dog Mauling Suspect Appears on Drug Charges

Dog mauling suspect Deaunte Nobles allegedly retrieved his dogs from the scene after the viscous attack and he told a witness not to bother calling 911. He would take care of it. Nobles proceeded…

Rapper Tommie Mullins “Orchestrated” Pizza Hut Murder

Tommie Mullins, another local rapper orchestrated the entire plan, the armed robbery and cold blooded murder of Brandon Denson according to Police Investigators. Mullins allegedly congratulated the gunman after the deadly deed according to…

Snapchat Prompts FBI Investigation of Columbus Man

A Columbus man’s Snapchat account appeared on the radar of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The federal investigation involves a network of people trading and sharing child pornography both video and still photographs. Testimony…

Victim to Rapists: Your turn to feel the pain

The victim in this case suffered unthinkable torture. She was gang raped repeatedly, shot ten times, set on fire and left for dead. But she survived and courageously squared off against her three attackers…

Operation Street Sweep Targets Notorious Neighborhoods

Dubbed Operation Street Sweep, the Columbus Police Department combined good old fashioned detective work with Intelligence led policing, technology to zero in on those crime ridden areas. Special units with the Columbus Police Department…

Russell County Inmate Commits Suicide

A Russell County inmate serving time for burglary penned a few handwritten goodbye notes and proceeded to hang himself with his own bed cover according Sheriff Heath Taylor. 33 year old James Devitt was…

Federal Judge Rules Video of Fatal Shooting Released

A federal Judge orders video of a fatal police shooting must be made public after a three year court battle. That Federal ruling involving the fatal police shooting of Columbus native Autumn Steele has…

Forensic Audit Sparks Clerk Controversy

A forensic audit of the Columbus Clerk of Council Tiny Washington’s office revealed large gaps of information in official logs. Councilor Mimi Woodson, who was noticeably absent from Tuesday’s presentation, requested an audit of the…

Inmate Tip Prompts Russell County Search for Body

The search for Sam Hewitt Jr continues after a false alarm. The Russell County Sheriff’s Department is carefully distancing itself from the case of Sam Hewitt Jr. after a recent tip prompted a massive…

Man Sentenced to 36 Months for Quadruple Fatal Crash

Markees Spires asked a Russell County Judge for mercy accepting responsibility for that quadruple fatal accident. As much as today’s hearing was about his sentence, it was also about the four innocent lives snatched…

Best Friend of Teen Shot 6 Times Wanted by Police

Fred Harris was supposed to start college Tuesday. His family tells First News he wanted to pursue a career in the military but those plans were interrupted when the teen was shot six times…

Lawmaker Thinks He Can Scare ISIS with Bare Butt

A Georgia Lawmaker is under fire after appearing on a cable show exposing himself and shouting racial slurs. Jason Spencer thought he was getting expert lessons on how to deal with a terrorist. Instead…

School Board Member’s Bootygate Draws Public Ire

One School Board member’s comments on social media is drawing the public’s ire. Frank Myers has generated his share of controversy during his tenure on the Muscogee County School Board but it took Myers…