Five years ago, Darius Walton, 20, was shot and killed at a party at an apartment complex in north Clarksville.
Though the party had witnesses, including another shooting victim who survived their wounds, the Walton family never learned who killed their son.
Now, Clarksville Crime Stoppers is hoping its decision to up the ante in exchange for information involving cold case homicides will bring Walton’s killer to justice.
The Clarksville Montgomery County Crime Stoppers Board announced on Thursday, Dec. 2, that it is increasing from $1,000 to up to $5,000 the amount of money tipsters can be paid for information on area cold case homicides.
Deanna McLaughlin, chair of the local Crime Stoppers board, said the $5,000 would apply only to unsolved criminal homicide cases that are more than three years old.
“We’re hoping that will inspire people who might have that one piece of information that law enforcement is missing to make a good case prosecutable,” McLaughlin said.
Crime Stoppers, a non-profit organization, affords an anonymous way for people to provide information about cases without retribution or being identified, according to McLaughlin. The group works separately from law enforcement.
McLaughlin said in the Walton case, the shooting victim who survived might not be sharing information to authorities for fear of retribution.
“Crime Stoppers is such a good mechanism for people who are afraid,” McLaughlin said. “Not everyone feels comfortable in going to law enforcement to provide information.”
McLaughlin said the oldest case Crime Stoppers has that is eligible for the $5,000 reward is from 1991 and the list runs through 2018.
Clarksville Police are still looking for the killer of Gary Waggoner, 29, from Aug. 17, 1991.
Officers were on routine patrol when they heard a gunshot fired in the area of Providence Boulevard, according to the Clarksville Crime Stoppers website.
An investigation led to the discovery of Waggoner, following an individual alerting them of an injured person.
Waggoner was located in the parking lot of Trigger’s Lounge and transported to a Nashville area hospital where he was pronounced dead.
On Sept. 26, 1995, the body of Aaron Walker was found with a gunshot to the head at the Sunnydale Mobile Home Park.
Officers were told four people with ski masks entered the residence yelling, “Where’s the money, we’re not playing.”
One of the individuals then reportedly shot Walker and all of the suspects then fled the scene.
A witness observed the four individuals fleeing and advised they got into a 1985 blue Toyota, two--door sports car that was parked approximately 50 yards away, but the one who shot Walker has not been found.
To be eligible for the reward funds, the information on the cold cases in Clarksville and Montgomery County must lead to the arrest and/or conviction of the persons responsible for the crime.
The people who provide the information can remain anonymous.
How to report tips
There are three ways to provide tips or leads to Crime Stoppers in Clarksville.
• Call 931-645-TIPS. The phone does not provide caller ID and conversations are not recorded.
• Tips can be left on the Crime Stoppers’ P3 Tips App, which tipsters can use on their iOS or Android mobile phones, all while remaining anonymous.
• Online web tips can be left, and the names of cold cases can be viewed, by visiting www.clarksvillecrimestoppers.com
1991-2018 cold homicide cases pending
Crime Stoppers has shared 22 cold cases from the Clarksville/Montgomery County area on its website.
“Some of these cases are really old,” McLaughlin said. “Family members would like some closure and would like the person responsible for the death of their family member brought to justice. We need the community to step forward and provide that information.”
The cold case homicides listed below must have occurred in 2018 or before in order to be eligible for the up to $5,000 reward.
The photos of Walker and Waggoner were not available.
Gary Waggoner – Aug. 17, 1991; Jerry Cope – Jan. 14, 1992; Howard Batie – Jan. 11, 1995; Aaron Walker – Sept. 26, 1995; Azuria Johnson – Jan. 6, 1996; Felicia Carson – Jan. 11, 1996; Diana Nix — May 3, 1996; Terry Hoskins – Sept. 28, 1996; Jacqueline Sims — March 18, 1998; Scott Lee Dupree – Dec. 31, 2001; Victoria Ochoa – Aug. 15, 2005; Edwin Mathurin – Sept. 2, 2006; Dorris Clinard — July 27, 2007; George Dyess – Jan. 8, 2009; Steven Everett Davies — July 20, 2010; Dennis Freeman – Dec. 5, 2011; James Stacker — April 25, 2012; Vincent Pardue — March 23, 2015; James Brown – Jan. 4, 2016; Darius Walton — June 12, 2016; Rayquan Hudson – Nov. 20, 2017; and, Tavon Wilson – Jan. 8, 2018.