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DeKalb County Man Charged With First Degree Murder

By: Angie Meadows -- Editor for the Smithville Review


A Dowelltown man was arrested last Thursday night and charged with first degree murder in the beating death of 33 year-old Artenchis Wainwright of Chestnut Drive, Shelbyville.

Colby Ray Watford, 25, is under a one million dollar bond and will appear in Bedford County court soon.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said that detectives from the Shelbyville Police Department contacted DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department detectives Thursday, May 28 about assisting in the arrest of Watford at his home at 136 South Mill Street in Dowelltown. Later in the evening, detectives with the Shelbyville Police Department along with detectives and patrol deputies from the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department and Sheriff Patrick Ray went to the residence and took Watford into custody without incident.

Officers later obtained a search warrant and executed it at Watford’s home looking for more evidence.

The crime took place March 18, 2020 at the victim’s home in Shelbyville. Wainwright, died at the scene, according to Shelbyville Police. He had been severely beaten by a masked man at his Chestnut Drive home.

Arriving officers found Wainwright bleeding profusely from a head wound.

“We don’t have confirmation about what type of injury he suffered to his head,” Detective Lt. Charles Merlo said. “It was a pretty big wound. We couldn’t tell what type of weapon was used.”

An autopsy was to be performed on Wainwright to determine how he was hit.

Wainwright’s girlfriend, who was not injured, told police two masked men wearing black clothing were waiting when she and Wainwright arrived home. They put her in a closet and one man beat Wainwright, Merlo said.

The assailants stole Wainwright’s vehicle as they left, according to Merlo. The vehicle was found burned in Murfreesboro the following day.

More arrests may follow in the case.

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