Son arrested for father’s murder

Published 3:03 pm Tuesday, July 18, 2023

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CHESTERFIELD, VA – The son of a murder victim in Bertie County is behind bars here following his arrest on Tuesday.

Mckenzie Watford

Law enforcement officials in Chesterfield, VA took Mckenzie Watford into custody after serving arrest warrants for the April murder of his father, Tony K. Watford.

Mckenzie Watford is charged with for first degree murder and larceny of a dog. He is being held in Chesterfield, VA awaiting extradition back to Bertie County.

Bertie Sheriff Tyrone Ruffin said that the county’s Communications Center received a call at 9:44 p.m. on April 9 in reference to a male that had been shot and was not breathing at his residence on NC 42 between Powellsvile and Colerain.

Bertie County Sheriff’s Lieutenant Martin Phelps, Investigator Brandon Turner, Deputy Dakota Young, and Deputy Matthew Bond responded to the call and upon arrival they found Tony Watford shot to death at his home.

Through the initial investigation, deputies found that a family member went to Tony Watford’s residence to do a welfare check and discovered that the victim had been shot. The family member immediately contacted the Bertie County Communications Center.

Ruffin said that Mckenzie Watford was identified early in the investigation as the suspect. Warrants were drawn for his arrest.

“I want to personally thank the Investigations Division of the Bertie County Sheriff’s Office for their hard work and dedication working on this case. Also thanks to the Greenville Police VCAT (Violent Criminal Apprehension Team) for their assistance and to the Chesterfield County, VA Sheriff’s Office,” Ruffin stated in a press release sent Tuesday afternoon.

Ruffin added that the Bertie County Sheriff’s Office is still actively working the homicide cases of Ricky Gilliam and Horace Lassiter.