Parker Co. manhunt ends in death of fugitive

Winford R. Watkinscombo Dawn Watkins mug

Winford Raynard “Ray” Watkins                     Dawn Charlene Watkins


What began as a routine traffic stop around 1:30 p.m. Monday on Midway Road between Azle and Springtown has ended in the death of a man who was destined for prison but didn’t want to go.

During the traffic stop, Parker County Sheriff Larry Fowler said Winford Raynard Watkins, 44, of Garland, waved a stack of papers that appeared to have a gun hidden inside. Then Watkins pulled a lug wrench out of the vehicle he was driving and began beating the deputy’s patrol unit with it. The deputy fired at least two shots at Watkins, who jumped into his vehicle and sped off, leaving a woman believed to be his wife in the roadway. The deputy reported to Fowler that Watkins continually screamed “I’m not going back,” during the traffic stop.

Watkins, now chased by a second deputy, sped up Midway Road to the end Cindy Lane, where he bailed out of the vehicle and fled on foot headed west. The ensuing manhunt lasted all night with Texas Department of Public Safety troopers, Azle police, Springtown police, Parker County SWAT, canine units and a helicopter all participating in the search effort.

Meanwhile, Dawn Charlene Watkins, 46, of Weatherford, believed to be Watkins’ wife, provided information to investigators about Watkins. She was subsequently arrested for Carrollton PD warrants for possession of drug paraphernalia and theft.

Overnight, officers kept a perimeter around the house, and sometime after 5 a.m., Watkins made his move.

“About 5:20 this morning he dropped down out of the ceiling and engaged the deputies,” Fowler said. “He had some type of handgun pointed at the deputies and they opened fire. He was hit in the chest and he is deceased.”

After the shooting, Fowler said, Watkins crawled into a bathroom. Officers put a pole camera through the bathroom window to see if Watkins was alive. He appeared to be unconscious, and when police entered the residence, they found Watkins deceased.

Later on Tuesday morning, the Texas Rangers were conducting an investigation into the shooting.