Waters found guilty of the Homicide of Ethelene Lewis

Published 3:02 pm Friday, August 18, 2023

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Staff Reports

Press Release by Brad Rigby, District Attorney

On Thursday, August 17, 2023 a Crisp County jury found TRAVIS LEON WATERS guilty of VEHICULAR HOMICIDE IN THE FIRST DEGREE, HIT AND RUN, and FAILURE TO REPORT AND ACCIDENT in Crisp County Superior Court following a four-day jury trail before Judge Denise Fachini. Judge Fachini sentenced WATERS to a composite sentence of 20 years with 15 years to serve in prison.

The conviction stemmed from the September 8. 2019 death of ETHELENE LEWIS, of Cordele, where Lewis had been walking along Joe Wright Drive in Cordele. Lewis was discovered the following day in a drainage ditch approximately 150 feet from her own driveway. WATERS, 35 from Ashburn, Georgia, was driving a blue Chevrolet Tahoe that evening when WATERS collided with LEWIS, a pedestrian walking on the side of the road. WATES failed to stop, failed to call 911, failed to render aid and failed to notify anyone about the incident. After Lewis was discovered, WATERS had his girlfriend falsely to report to law enforcement that she was driving and hit “something” in the same location where LEWIS’ body was found.

Subsequent investigation by the Cordele Police Department and the Georgia State Patrol’s Specialized Collision Reconstruction Team discovered debris from the Tahoe as well the purse and shoe belonging to LEWIS on the shoulder of the roadway. Moreover, city cameras caught the collision on video, and show that WATERS drove straight to a car wash immediately following the collision. the vehicle had significant damage to the front passenger side. Chief Assistant District Attorney Christian Brown Bryant represented the State of Georgia; WATERS was represented by attorney, Lela Acker.