Prosecutor drops charges against local blogger

A newly appointed special prosecutor — Burleson County Attorney Susan Deski — has filed a motion to dismiss several felony indictments handed down by a Polk County District Attorney in April 2018 against local journalist Stephen C. Watson.

Watson operates Sentinel Alert, an investigative journalism website the primarily covers issues in Polk and San Jacinto counties.

Watson was indicted two counts of obstruction/retaliation and fraudulent use/possession of identifying info of an elderly person.

Those charges stem from the publication of an affidavit of informal marriage on his website. The affidavit is filed in the Polk County Clerk’s office and was executed by Rita Hon, the mother of Polk County District Attorney William Lee Hon, and Anthony Bartunek, both of Livingston. Mrs. Hon died Nov. 24, 2018 after a long illness.

Deski was appointed on Aug. 17, 2020 after the original special prosecutor Joe Martin retired and allowed Angelina County District Attorney-Elect Janet Cassel to be sworn in. The court spent four months searching for a replacement.

Watch the Pineywoods Express for more on this breaking news story.

Deski filed a motion to dismiss in the interest of justice on Nov. 10. Although the order has not been signed by the judge as of Nov. 16, such prosecutorial requests are typically .6

Categories: Crime