Police seek 'person of interest' in Bridgeport murder
Updated 1:15 pm, Thursday, March 2, 2017
BRIDGEPORT — Police have named a “person of interest’’ in the homicide last Friday of Michael Watkins, and are asking the public’s help to locate him.
Anyone with information regarding this homicide, or the whereabouts of Willard Hargrove is asked to call Bridgeport Police at 203-576-TIPS (8477).
Detectives arrested Jovanne Brown on Saturday and charged him with felony murder in Watkins’ death but are still seeking Hargrove as a “person of interest’’ in the case,, the Bridgeport police spokesman said.
Brown told police that he shot Watkins in self-defense while helping a friend steal three pounds of marijuana from the victim.
"I didn't mean to do that to the (expletive), I was just there to make sure nothing bad happened," police said Brown told them.
Brown is charged with felony murder, murder, possession of a pistol without a permit, weapons in a motor vehicle, first-degree robbery and conspiracy to commit first-degree robbery.
During an arraignment hearing Monday, the judge noted that Brown has no prior criminal record and then ordered him held in lieu of $750,000 bond.
Shortly before 10 p.m., on Friday, police found Watkins lying on Berkshire Avenue, shot multiple times. A short time later police said a white Hyundai sedan pulled up in front of the St. Vincent's Medical Center emergency room and a large man helped a bleeding Brown into the hospital and then hurriedly drove off.
Police said Brown, who was treated for a bullet wound in his chest, initially told them he had been walking on Maplewood Avenue when a shot was fired at him from a car. He didn't know who shot him or way, police said he told them.
However, as detectives began to connect Brown to Watkins' shooting, police said Brown admitted there was more to his story.
Police said he then told them that a friend had arranged to purchase three pounds of marijuana from Watkins and that in exchange for coming along the friend would fix Brown's car.
When Brown got into his friend's car, he asked his friend, "Do you even got any bread," a reference to the money to buy the marijuana, police said. "No I ain't got nothing," the friend said.
Police said they asked Brown if the intent was to rob Watkins of his marijuana. "I guess so," they said he replied.