In Suffolk, Va., a murder suspect told Channel 3 News he was innocent shortly after he was arrested. Karlton Lamont Boone Jr. will be spending his 18th birthday behind bars for allegedly shooting Wayne Anthony Watford in the back, killing him, then dumping his body in a cemetery. Watford was a 42-year-old resident of the city of Suffolk. Deputy Chris Leuer said, “The investigation was really a matter of connecting the dots and putting the pieces of the puzzle together.” He also said when they locate a suspect, they do not discriminate against age, and that this was not the suspect’s first run-in with the law. For the first couple of weeks, the police focused their investigation in the area of Hampton Roads before learning that Boone Jr. may have fled the jurisdiction.
On the Friday after Watford’s murder, the Suffolk police named Boone Jr. as the person responsible, and warrants were issued for his arrest. According to a press release by the city, he was charged with first-degree murder; possession of a firearm by a violent felon; use or display of a firearm in commission of a felony; stabbing, shooting, or cutting with the intention to maim or kill; and shooting during commission of a felony. The U.S. marshals in Norfolk, Va., had been leading the investigation for a little over three weeks when they discovered he had fled to Atlanta, Ga. He was arrested without incident in Atlanta, where he was hiding in a friend’s home, and was extradited from the Fulton County Jail to Suffolk. The press release also stated that Boone Jr. had the alias “Lil Jodi.”
On Tuesday, March 1, 2016, at 1:31 a.m, the victim’s body was found after a resident became alarmed by a speeding vehicle leaving the Pleasant Hill graveyard and notified the police. Watford was pronounced dead at the scene after officers could not find a pulse. He had gunshot wounds, which the medical examiner concluded to be the cause of death, ruling it a homicide.
On Monday, March 28, a grand jury indicted Boone Jr. on the charges. In a related case, David Kendal was also indicted on Monday as the alleged perpetrator in a murder-for-hire scheme in which Boone was named as one of the persons targeted. Prosecutor Matthew Glassman is trying both cases.
Boone Jr. told Marris Badcock of Channel 3 News, in an exclusive interview only hours after his arrest, that he did not have anything to do with Watford’s murder and is innocent. He claimed he did not know anything about the victim, including his name. The murder suspect claimed he was wanted for questioning in Watford’s death, but the police never questioned him; instead they issued a warrant for his arrest. The accused told the Channel 3 News that he was scared to be accused of killing someone, so he fled to Ga.. He also told Badcock he just wanted to go home, and he did not want to celebrate his 18th birthday behind bars.
Boone Jr. had been charged previously with distribution of cocaine and abduction. When a suspect turns 18 years of age, they can be tried as an adult. If convicted, he could receive life in prison without the possibility of parole. However, the murder suspect maintains his innocence to channel 3 News, and swears he had nothing to do with the victim or his death.
By Katherine Miller-Chichester
News Channel 3: Only On 3: Atlanta Murder suspect speaks from jail, says he’s innocent
Suffolknewsherald.com: Grand jury indicts 69
JUSTIA US Law: 2006 Code of Virginia 18.2-32 – First and second degree murder defined; punishment
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