On this date, December 27, 1976, Officer Billy Ray Watson was shot dead. The Cop Killer, Ronald Spivey was executed by lethal injection in Georgia on January 24, 2002.
Officer Billy Ray Watson
INTERNET SOURCE: http://www.odmp.org/officer/13889-police-officer-billy-ray-watson
Bio & Incident Details
Tour: 6 years
Badge # Not available
Incident Date: 12/28/1976
Weapon: Gun; Unknown type
Suspect: Executed in 2002
Officer Watson was shot and killed when he walked into a robbery-in-progress at a local mall. The suspect was sentenced to death and executed on January 24, 2002.
Officer Watson had been with the agency for 6 years and was survived by his wife and three children.
Please go to this ODMP website to see the reflections from those who honor this fallen cop.
Summary: On Dec. 27, 1976, Spivey shot and killed Charles McCook in a Macon pool hall brawl over $20. Spivey then drove to Columbus and to the Final Approach Lounge at Peachtree Mall. Spivey fatally shot Bill Watson in the head and chest after the off-duty police officer came into the bar to investigate why its door was open beyond the 2 a.m. closing time. The gun shots drew Welton Emmit Allen, the 21-year-old manager of the nearby Briar Rabbit restaurant, into the lounge. Spivey shot Allen five times. Allen survived by playing dead. From the parking lot, Spivey continued shooting and wounded another person. Spivey saw the wounded Allen duck into the Briar Rabbit and fired several more times through a window, hitting an employee of that restaurant, who also survived. Spivey then ordered college professor and part-time bar waitress Mary Jane Davidson to drive him to Alabama. He was captured two miles south of Wedowee, Ala., just before daybreak. Spivey had $360 in cash believed to have come from the bar, along with two guns --- a .38-caliber revolver and a .357 Smith & Wesson that had Watson's name and badge number 197 engraved on the butt.
Spivey was sentenced to life in prison for McCook's murder. He was tried twice for killing Watson. The first conviction in 1977 was thrown out because he was "compelled to be a witness against himself in a psychological exam," court records said. In 1983, a second Muscogee jury convicted Spivey of murder, armed robbery and kidnapping. Only one other inmate has been on Georgia's death row longer than Spivey, a mountain of a man at 6-foot-7, 360 pounds. A member of Mensa and a former professional basketball player, his brother was a star 7-foot center for Kentucky's 1951 national championship team before being implicated in a point-shaving scandal that led to his lifetime ban by the NBA.
QUOTE: Clyde McCook, the younger brother of Charles McCook Jr., said he feels a death sentence is appropriate. "He killed my brother," said McCook, who learned about his brother's 1976 murder on the news. "My feeling is he needs to be killed."AUTHOR: Clyde McCook is the younger brother of Charles McCook. Charles McCook and Officer Bill Watson were both murdered by Ronald Keith Spivey on December 27, 1976. Ronald Keith Spivey was executed by lethal injection in Georgia on January 24, 2002.