Anthony Johnson charged with murder of local resident


By Maegan Rocio
Staff writer

Anthony Johnson, a 43-year-old Waco resident, has been charged in connection with the death of Richard Watson. Watson, a 54-year-old Waco resident, was pronounced dead August 22 at Hillcrest Hospital. It was the third killing this year in Waco.

At 9:15 p.m. August 22, Waco Police responded to a distress call regarding the discharge of a firearm at 1018 Preston St.

“Shortly after that, we got a call about a man down about a block away in the area of Preston and Turner,” said W. Patrick Swanton, a Sergeant in the Waco Police Department.

Swanton said Waco police officers determined that a man had gone to the 1018 Preston address to visit his girlfriend. When he arrived, he saw Watson’s vehicle parked in front of the house.

The two men argued about Watson parking in front of the home, and then Watson drove away from the scene in his truck. About 10 – 15 minutes later, Watson came back on a bicycle. The two men produced firearms and became involved in a gun battle, Swanson said.

After Watson escaped the battle on his bicycle, Swanton said, he collapsed about a block away from the house.

Swanton said when the Waco Police Department Crime Scene Unit and Special Crimes arrived in the area of Preston and Turner, Watson was lying on the ground with several gunshot wounds to his upper body.

Swanton said officers called an ambulance to the scene and Watson was taken to Hillcrest Hospital, where he was pronounced dead by Justice of the Peace William Martin at 10:03 p.m.

Martin declined comment.

The body was taken to the Southwest Forensic Institute in Dallas by order of Martin, where it will be autopsied.

Johnson was booked into the McLennan County Jail on August 23 and posted bond, which was set at $150,000, on the same day.

The two previous murders of the year occurred May 5 and July 23, both fatal shootings. Last year, the Waco police department investigated a total of 12 murders.