C.J. LeMaster

C.J. LeMaster

Chief Investigative Reporter

Jackson, MS

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.

Awards:

  • 2018 Emmy Nomination, Best Investigative Report
  • 2018 Excellence in my Market Award, Best Investigative Report
  • 2017 AP Award, Best Investigative Report (Third Place)
  • 2014 AP Award, Best Spot News
  • 2013 AP Award, Best Feature Photography
  • 2013 AP Award, Achievement
  • 2013 AP Award, Franchise Reporting
  • 2012 AP Award, Achievement
  • 2012 AP Award, Franchise Reporting
  • 2012 AP Award, Best News Photography
  • 2012 AP Award, Best News Photography
  • 2012 AP Award, Spot News Story
  • 2011 AP Award, Best Feature Photography
  • 2010 AP Award, Best Feature Story
  • 2004 Emmy Nomination, First Down on FOX – WLOV-TV

Education:

  • Mississippi State University, Broadcasting/Public Relations

Recent Articles by C.J.

  Reeves’ new pick for MDOC commissioner has controversial past

  Greta Bully’s attorney calls killing ‘justifiable’; reports from scene suggest otherwise

  Miss. health experts debunk face mask myths swirling on social media

  Analysis: Five Jackson metro cities see sales tax revenue drops in April

  Reeves: Replenish state’s unemployment trust fund with CARES money or small businesses will suffer

  What does a post-pandemic worship service look like?

  Jackson City Council approves citywide leisure and recreation district

  3OYS investigation reveals name of JPD officer arrested for child exploitation

  JPD releases incomplete incident report in Bully murder investigation

  DHS audit: Relatives, former football greats got their share of welfare dollars

  State auditor details $94 million in ‘questionable spending’ after releasing in-depth audit of DHS

  MSDH: No confirmed transmission of coronavirus in Miss. poultry processing plants

  Exclusive: Investigation reveals April as deadliest month in Jackson’s history despite stay-at-home order

Larry Lee, 65

Anthony Pierre Blackmore, 32

  Nearly 10% of state’s total COVID-19 cases come from long-term care facilities

  Ban on elective procedures/surgeries impacts rural hospitals already at risk of closure

Queenyanna Davis, 5

Chauncey Williams, 45

John Doe, Unknown Age

Quentin Lavon Funchess, 35

Jeremiah Thompson, 27

  Miss. health experts explain why mobile testing is key to fighting COVID-19

Antwon Bolton, 22

Jordan McCoy, 11

  MSDH keeps some details on Mississippi’s health care readiness, capabilities from public

Demarcus Jones, 23

  Institute estimates Miss. could have 918 COVID-19 deaths by early August

  Nearly 3 weeks into coronavirus outbreak, total number of ventilators in Miss. hospitals still unknown

Jackson mayor says businesses that violate executive order could get their power cut off