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Clovis Watson IV arrested for felony habitual driving without a license; by order of governor, out-of-circuit prosecutor will handle case

BY JENNIFER CABRERA

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Clovis Watson IV, 30, was arrested this morning on a warrant for habitually driving without a valid license.

The warrant was issued after Watson was pulled over for having a non-operational headlight on June 3 and cited for driving without a license as a habitual offender. Watson has an extensive history of driving infractions, including an arrest on November 24, 2021, for driving without a license, second or subsequent offense. He was designated a habitual traffic offender for a period of 5 years on September 23, 2021. He has also been cited in the past 18 months for failure to drive in a single lane, failure to yield, failure to display a tag (twice), and illegal window tinting (twice).

In January of 2022, Governor Ron DeSantis issued an executive order, assigning John Durrett, State Attorney from the 3rd Circuit, to handle several of Watson’s cases from 2021, including the November 24 case, a November 23 complaint for kicking in the door of his pregnant former girlfriend’s apartment, and a December 25 complaint for aggravated battery and snatching a cellphone from his former girlfriend. Charges in the latter two cases were dropped on April 12, 2022, when Durrett issued letters that said, “Lengthy discussions have been had with the alleged victim in the underlying case. Conflicting testimony was provided by the alleged victim, and it was made clear and unequivocal that cooperation with the prosecution would not exist. Given such, further pursuit of this matter is not warranted.”

A plea deal was reached at the same time to withhold adjudication on the misdemeanor charge of driving without a license, with a sentence of 12 months of probation and 100 hours of community service. Watson IV completed the community service, but the new citation on June 3 led to a notice of violation of probation and a requirement for a hearing.

Governor DeSantis issued another executive order on July 6, again assigning John Durrett to the case because of conflicts of interest for Sheriff Clovis Watson Jr. and State Attorney Brian Kramer. Durrett filed a formal felony charge against Watson IV on July 15 for driving while his license was revoked, and a warrant was issued for his arrest on July 19.

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Although the warrant recommended bail of $5,000, Watson was released on his own recognizance with requirements to not drive without a license and report to his probation officer.

Articles about arrests are based on reports from law enforcement agencies. The charges listed are taken from the arrest report and/or court records and are only accusations. All suspects are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. 

  • I’m surprised CW jr. didn’t fit him for a uniform and make him a captain over something.

    • Yours Truly, I normally don’t entertain ignorance but I deem it okay for this time. Apparently he’s more knowledgeable about Human Resources than yourself and wouldn’t make such a decision.

  • I am surprised he let him be arrest and his picture posted have I will say I do respect the Sheriff a little more I am sure it’s hard on him having a son like this in his position

  • Once again the Bail does not fit the continued criminal behavior . Hmmm. Almost anyone else would be in Jail. BS.

  • I bet daddy’s so proud. If he wants to ride around so much, strap him to the grill of a sheriff’s car.

  • I’m sorry Sheriff Clovis Watson have no control over what a 30 year old man do people get a life stop the killing and the drugs!!!!

  • Clovis Watson is a good man and has proven to be an excellent Sheriff.
    He should not be held responsible for the actions of his 30 year old son whom he has tried to properly mentor for many years!

    • He should have paid the money himself to get Clovis IV’s license straightened out. It reflects badly not only on him but the department and the county overall.

  • Remember, the only reason Clovis is sheriff is because the local democratic party orchestrated a write-in to close the primary. Republicans in Alachua County did not get to vote for sheriff in 2020.

    • WCJB (9/1/2020): According to the Alachua County Supervisor of Elections office, Clovis Watson Jr. will be unopposed on the November ballot after write-in challenger Robert Brinkman has bowed out.

      When Brinkman entered the race he closed the primary to only Democratic voters by entering the primary as a Democrat.

      This is not the first time Brinkman has closed a primary race Watson Jr. is a candidate in. In 2012, Brinkman entered the state house race as a write-in candidate that Watson Jr. later won.

  • He was also arrested – last Christmas – again on domestic battery charges. But during th holidays he was silently released from jail and no prosecution was pursued

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