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Update – January 5, 2015
The Waynesboro Police Department charged a Staunton man with involuntary manslaughter of Joseph Clark Bickers who died August 1, 2014. The felony charge against Andrew Lewis Watkins, Jr., 53 years old, is a result of the Police Department’s nearly five month investigation in the July 28th assault that eventually led to Bickers’ death. The Office of Chief Medical Examiner in Richmond classified the death as a homicide with the cause of death being blunt force trauma to the head. Alcohol likely played a role in the incident.
The Police Department would still like anyone with information in July assault in the 1200 block of Wine Avenue to call Corporal Ben Lemons at (540) 942-6675.
Officers from the Staunton Police Department arrested Bickers at his residence on January 3 at approximately 10:00 PM. He is being held without bond at Middle River Regional Jail.
Previous Release - September 3, 2014
The Waynesboro Police Department is conducting a homicide investigation in the death of a Waynesboro man that occurred earlier in the summer. On July 28, 2014 at approximately 9:30 PM, officers responded to a home in the 1200 block of Wine Avenue for a report of a physical assault. When they arrived they found the resident of the house, Joseph Clark Bickers, 52 years old, the victim of the assault. Officers were able to speak briefly with Bickers before he was transported to Augusta Health Emergency Department by ambulance. He gave them a short account of what had happened and a description and nickname of the man who assaulted him. The suspect was not present at the time. While the officers were still investigating the assault, they received communication from Augusta Health that Bickers had suffered a severe head injury and had to be airlifted to the University Of Virginia Medical Center.
Bickers died at UVA MC on August 1, 2014 at 12:25 PM. An autopsy was performed. Through the course of the investigation, the Police Department has identified the suspect in the case as a 52 year old Staunton man. Detectives have spoken with him about the assault. The suspect and Bickers were acquaintances.
The Police Department is awaiting a report from the Office of the Medical Examiner. The investigation is still open.