Mulberry man, Christopher “Shane” Knight, charged with the murder of his mother, Jahala Watson, in 19-Year-Old Cold Case Homicide
The Polk County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO) announced Friday, an arrest in a 19-year-old cold case homicide of a 39-year-old woman and her unborn child, which occurred in 1993.
39-year-old Christopher “Shane” Knight (AKA Christopher Shane Watson) of 4367 Sun Center Road in Mulberry was charged in the death of his mother, Jahala Watson, and her unborn baby.
According to the affidavit, 39-year-old Jahala Watson of Mulberry, formerly of 3755 Davis Road in Mulberry and the owner of Jahala’s Place restaurant in Mulberry (which had closed a few months prior to her death), who was seven months pregnant with a baby boy, disappeared on Sunday, June 20, 1993.
The last person to have seen her was her then 19-year-old son, Christopher Shane, who lived with her and whom she financially supported. Friends reported that mother and son frequently argued about his use of her car, finances, and other household issues. One friend reported that the two had an argument on Sunday, June 20th, and then Shane ordered the friend to leave. Once outside the home, the friend continued to hear arguing, and then silence. Jahala was never seen or heard from again, and her car was missing.
On June 22,1993, Jahala’s body was found alongside the roadway of SR 471 in Sumter County, north of the Polk County line about .5 mile from her brother’s property line. A passing truck driver saw her body, stopped, and called law enforcement.
An autopsy revealed Jahala Watson died as a result of stabbing, and that the unborn fetus she was carrying also died as a result of Jahala being killed. Both their manners of death were ruled homicide.
Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said, “This arrest is a culmination of the hard work and efforts of four agencies – the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office, FDLE, and the State of Florida’s Office of Statewide Prosecution, Prosecutor Nicholas Cox. Jahala Watson was viciously murdered by her own son 19 years ago, and we hope with this arrest we can bring some closure to her family members.”
PCSO Homicide detectives took Christopher Shane Knight into custody on Thursday, October 25, 2012.
Shane Knight was booked into the Polk County Jail during the evening hours of Thursday, October 25th, for Second Degree Murder and Manslaughter.