Ben Hill Co. jury returns verdict for man accused of killing ex-girlfriend

Ben Hill Co. jury returns verdict for man accused of killing ex-girlfriend
Dekito Champ was found guilty of killing his ex-girlfriend. (Source: Ben Hill Sheriff's Office)

BEN HILL CO., GA (WALB) - A Ben Hill County jury has found a man guilty of killing his ex-girlfriend in March of 2016.

According to the Cordele Judicial Circuit District Attorney Bradford Rigby, Dekito Champ was found guilty of malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime in the death of Jana Watson.

Rigby said that Champ shot Watson and then attempted to kill himself on March 20, 2016.

In October of 2015, Watson ended the relationship with Champ and returned home to Atlanta with her family. The State's evidence at trial proved that the Defendant continued to harass, stalk and intimidate Watson, both on her phone and in person. After one incident at her job, a Target location in Atlanta, Target store officials placed Watson under a safety plan for her protection. Over the next twenty days following this Target incident, the Defendant continued to harass and threaten Watson, including threats of suicide if Watson did not return to the relationship.

Rigby said that as a last resort, Champ threatened to euthanize their dog to lure Watson back to Fitzgerald.

When Watson came to get the dog, Rigby said Champ shot her four times with a 9 MM handgun in her car that was in Champ's driveway.

Watson died at the scene and Champ was airlifted to a Macon hospital. He was treated and released a week later.

Champ has been sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole and a consecutive five-year sentence.

Copyright 2018 WALB. All rights reserved.