Staunton man charged in summer death in Waynesboro

Watkins, Andrew Lewis Jr.The Waynesboro Police Department has charged a Staunton man with involuntary manslaughter in an August death.

The felony charge against Andrew Lewis Watkins Jr., 53, is a result of the Police Department’s nearly five-month investigation in the July 28 assault that eventually led to the Aug. 1 death of Joseph Clark Bickers, 52.

Officers were able to speak briefly with Bickers before he was transported to Augusta Health by ambulance.  He gave them a short account of what had happened and a description and nickname of the man who assaulted him.

While the officers were still investigating the assault, they received communication from Augusta Health that Bickers had suffered a severe head injury and had to be airlifted to the University of Virginia Medical Center.

The Office of Chief Medical Examiner in Richmond classified the death as a homicide with the cause of death being blunt force trauma to the head.  Alcohol likely played a role in the incident.

The police department would still like anyone with information in July assault to call Corporal Ben Lemons at (540) 942-6675.

Officers from the Staunton Police Department arrested Watkins at his residence on January 3 at approximately 10 p.m.  He is being held without bond at Middle River Regional Jail.

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