Waters found guilty of second degree murder for 2021 fatal shooting

Published 10:41 am Friday, October 20, 2023

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William Charles Waters, 36, of Washington, was convicted of second degree murder and sentenced to a minimum of 27-and-a-half-years and a maximum of 34 years for the fatal shooting of Jamie “Bumper” Daniels of Belhaven. The jury reached a decision Thursday, Oct. 19. 

The sentence was announced on Friday morning (Oct. 20) at the Beaufort County Courthouse by Superior Court Judge Johua Willey. The trial began on Monday, Oct. 9. 

On Monday, Jan. 11, 2021 at approximately 1:42 p.m. deputies with Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office responded to a call in reference to multiple shots fired and a homicide in the parking lot of Slatestone Grocery and Grill (2056 Slatestone Rd, Washington). Daniels’, 44, was found with multiple, apparent gunshot wounds and was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the sheriff’s office. 

According to District Attorney Seth Edwards’ office, the shooting and proceeding events were caught on film by a surveillance camera at the Slatestone grocery store in addition to Ring doorbell cameras of nearby homes. A surveillance video shows Waters chasing Daniels and pointing a handgun in Daniels’ direction. The chase ended in the Slatestone grocery parking lot and an altercation ensued between Daniels and Waters. 

“The video depicts Waters chasing Daniels around a truck and eventually Waters grabs Daniels and attempts to strangle him. Daniels breaks free, and then Daniels pulls out a handgun from his waistband and points it at Waters. After a few seconds, Daniels lowers his weapon and places it behind his back. Daniels begins to back away from Waters, who likewise advances towards Daniels. Approximately 30 seconds after Daniels lowered his weapon, Waters points his handgun at Daniels and fires approximately 11 shots at Daniels, who slumps over the wooden fence in the parking lot and dies,” the District Attorney’s office shared. 

Edwards, in a press release from his office, said it is “rare” for a homicide to be caught on camera. The film was a “crucial piece of evidence” for the case. 

The case warranted a decision by a jury pm the law of self-defense, because Daniels had limited possession of a weapon at the time of the shooting. 

“By their verdict, the jury determined that the shooting was not done with premeditation and deliberation, while at the same time the defendant did not act in self-defense even if he used an excessive amount of force. Chief Assistant District Attorney Thomas Anglim and assistant district attorney Alex Sefton prosecuted the case on behalf of the State,” Edwards’ office stated. 

 Waters, 33 years old at the time of the shooting, was arrested and charged with an open count of murder.