Defendant Pleads Guilty To Assault on Officer

Douglas Roy Watson, 24, pleaded guilty to assault charges stemming from an incident in DeKalb County in June 2003.

When confronted by Conservation Officers John Whidbee and Sgt. Steve Schrader, who were investigating reports of nighttime deer poaching, Watson fired a small caliber rifle at the officers, striking Whidbee. He surrendered only after running out of ammunition.

Officer Whidbee suffered a gunshot wound to the left forearm and was treated and released from a local hospital.

Watson was charged with a felony count of Assault II, and a misdemeanor count of Attempted Assault II. Sentencing was August 5, 2005.

For the Assault II charge, Watson was sentenced to 10 years. He will serve six months in jail and then be placed on supervised probation. On the misdemeanor charge, he received six months in jail, followed by probation, which will run concurrently with the other sentence.

In addition, Watson was ordered to pay restitution, an amount to be determined by the court following recommendations from Captain Fred Bain, District II Enforcement Supervisor for the Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources promotes wise stewardship, management and enjoyment of Alabama’s natural resources through five divisions: Marine Police, Marine Resources, State Parks, State Lands, and Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries.