Man charged in capital murder of police officer accused of trying to bribe jailer for drugs

Published 12:49 pm Tuesday, December 29, 2020

The man charged with the capital murder of a Tuscaloosa police officer has now been accused of trying to bribe jailer for drugs.

Luther Bernard Watkins Jr., 21, has been charged with trying to bribe a public servant after authorities say he offered a jailer $700 in exchange for narcotics. The crime is a felony.

Watkins has been charged in the Sept. 16, 2019, death of Tuscaloosa police investigator Dornell Cousette. The deadly shooting happened when Cousette was trying to serve felony warrants on Watkins.

According to court documents, Watkins on Dec. 19 handed a jail deputy a folded sheet of paper and asked him to not read the note around other people. The deputy forgot about the note and did not look at the message until the end of his shift.

The note asked for “some paper” in exchange for $700. “Paper” in narcotics circles is known as paper soaked with liquid synthetic marijuana. Inmates use the paper to smoke.

Watkins bond is set at $5,000 on the new charge. A trial date has not yet been set in the capital murder case. He was denied youthful offender status and a change of venue earlier this year.