When Jason Lemont Watkins went on a crime spree in his own neighborhood on the East Side of Columbus Ohio, he was just 16 years old. Originally charged in juvenile court, he was bound over to stand trial in adult court in Franklin County Ohio. On Jan. 11, he was sentenced to 67 years in prison, after the judge refused to grant a motion filed by Watkins’ attorney just two days earlier, requesting that Watkins be allowed to withdraw guilty pleas he had previously entered to several of the offenses he was charged with.
Jason Watkins was sentenced on case number 11 CR 004927, which included 22 crimes, including six counts of aggravated robbery, six counts of robbery, six counts of kidnapping, one count of rape and two counts of gross sexual imposition and one count of sexual battery, according to court records. All but one of the charges included the specification that Watkins displayed or brandished a firearm while in commission of the crime.
Watkins terrorized his victims whom he accosted while they were leaving their homes, their cars or stores along Livingston Ave. on the East Side of Columbus in Feb. 2011. Watkins’ address is listed in court records as being 1035 Elizabeth Ave., just a short distance from Livingston Ave., where the crimes were committed. He apparently did not know any of his victims, making them victims of his crimes of opportunity.
According to NBC-4, this was not Watkins’ first contact with the legal system, as DNA taken after his recent crimes was matched to DNA already in the system. For his DNA to already be in the system, Jason Watkins would have had to have committed a felony crime for which the State of Ohio is permitted to take DNA and put in their database. NBC-4 reported that Columbus police were surprised to discover the DNA of the alleged perpetrator of the crimes matched that of a boy who was just 16 years old at the time the crimes were committed as well as the fact that he was already in the system at such a young age.
Watkins will be transported to the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation & Corrections to begin serving his sentence. If Watkins, who is now 18, serves his entire sentence of 67 years in prison, he will be 85 years old when he is released.