C.J. LeMaster

C.J. LeMaster has served as WLBT’s Chief Investigative Reporter since April 2016. Since then, he’s exposed problems with the Hinds County criminal justice system, highlighted potential secrecy regarding unethical conduct among Mississippi educators, revealed a prison extortion scheme that stretched across the state and investigated municipalities which violated state law by keeping documents from the public. In one case, the Mississippi Ethics Commission ruled the city of Jackson violated the state's public records act by denying WLBT settlement agreements executed by the city as part of a 3 On Your Side investigation into the spending of taxpayer dollars. Most recently, exclusive information uncovered during a 3 On Your Side investigation into recent deadly officer-involved shootings and a lack of transparency by the Jackson Police Department helped lead to a reversal in a decades-old city policy that once prevented the release of the names of officers responsible in those shootings. You can check out C.J.'s latest investigative pieces here. Before coming to the Capital City as a reporter and weekend anchor in December 2013, C.J. worked at WTVA/WLOV in Tupelo, Mississippi, for nearly a decade in several roles, some of that while pursuing a broadcast journalism degree from Mississippi State. After graduation, he got hired as a reporter there and then went on to anchor some of the station’s top-rated newscasts. C.J. was raised in Booneville, where he began his journalism career at Northeast Mississippi Community College. He worked in both print and television during his time in college. Over the years, C.J. has received more than a dozen Mississippi Associated Press awards ranging from photography to public affairs reporting and achievement. In 2018, C.J.'s investigative piece, 3 On Your Side Investigates: Access Denied won Best Investigative Report in the Southeast Regional Emmy's Excellence in my Market Awards, where journalists from television markets across five states compete. That same year, judges with the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences recognized his investigative work on that story with an Emmy nomination. In addition, several of C.J.’s stories warranted national coverage: among them, the active shooter situation at Delta State University, the historic April 2011 tornado outbreak and a 2013 ricin investigation that implicated a Mississippi man in a plot to poison President Barack Obama. When he’s not working, C.J. enjoys finding new restaurants in central Mississippi and exploring the area with a camera to support his photography habit. If you have something you want C.J. to look into, call the 3 On Your Side Investigates Line at 769-2300-TIP.

Recent Articles by C.J.

  Information uncovered by 3OYS leads to questions of residency for Hinds County sheriff candidate

  JPD cancels crime stats meeting without giving any reason

Manhunt underway for three men, juvenile wanted in Holmes County armed robbery

  Lawmakers pass bill making “external examinations” legal in Mississippi

  3 On Your Side Investigates: Measure of Hate, Part II

Dewan Fortner, 29

  New parking meters will not debut in Fondren amid “community concerns"

Kentrell Stewart, 34

Charles Ponthieux, 52

Mario Clark, 31

Erik Payton, 24

  3 On Your Side Investigates: Doctors of Deception

  JPD’s first Uniform Crime Report meeting ends with no clear picture of city’s crime concerns

Varga McCray, 48

Mario Nichols, 44

Steve Willis, 32

  Links for crime stats removed from Jackson’s website days after 3OYS investigation into JPD’s crime stats

Quinvarus Devon Parker, 20

  Lawsuit filed by former St. Richard student, claiming he was sexually abused by Catholic priest

  3 On Your Side Investigates: Pattern of Secrecy