Grand jury indicts driver accused of killing off-duty police officer in crash

Posted at 2:20 PM, Feb 07, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-08 09:52:14-04

BATAVIA, Ohio — A Clermont County grand jury indicted the man accused of hitting and killing an off-duty policy officer while driving high.

Justin Watts, 31, is facing two counts of aggravated vehicular homicide and two counts of OVI, according to Clermont County Common Pleas Court records.

Watts is accused of crashing an SUV head-on into a car driven by 27-year-old Jerrid Lee on State Route 125 on Jan. 28, according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol. Lee, who worked as a Clearcreek Township police officer, died at the scene.

Troopers said they believe drugs were a factor in the crash. Watts was across the center line when he hit Lee.

Lee was an Air Force veteran who served in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, according to a news release from Clearcreek Township police. The department hired him in August 2017 as a part-time officer and he was promoted to full-time officer in January 2018. Lee is survived by his wife and young children.

Watts is being held in the Clermont County Jail with bond set at $1 million.

An evidentiary hearing will take place at 1 p.m. on June 14, and a final pretrial is set for 8 a.m. on Sept. 12.

Watts' trial is scheduled for Oct. 7.