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.


  • 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


  • Mississippi State University, Broadcasting/Public Relations

Recent Articles by C.J.

  Big plans on tap for abandoned downtown Jackson church building

  U.S. Senate candidates vie for votes at 2020 virtual Hobnob event

  Property owner believes Jackson should fix sinkholes near his building

  Jackson woman: Neighbor’s ‘illegal’ pipe floods her yard weekly

  Reeves' criteria for COVID-19 hot spots changes, yet still uses older data

  Investigation: ‘New video’ from 2017 officer-involved shooting was given to Hinds DA’s office a year ago

  Hinds DA: Newly-released video of officer-involved shooting contradicts JPD’s internal investigation

  Jackson could get state assistance to address ‘violence epidemic’

  Analysis: Mississippi’s homicide rate ranks highest in the nation

Two weeks before Election Day, Hinds supervisor pulls board item for $1.5M grant amid vendor concerns

Alveriso Davis, 32

Walter Shoto, 27

  As COVID-19 cases climb again, state’s top doc expects more restrictions next week to slow spread

  $1.5M grant for Hinds Co. elections in limbo after elected officials fail to agree on spending issues

Jane Doe, Unknown Age

John Doe, Unknown Age

Michael Reed, 55

  Attorney wants all charges against client Greta Bully dropped, including murder

Jonathan Wilson, 15

James Johnson, 34

Mary Harper, 59

  As Louisiana evacuees flee storm, Vicksburg hotels start to fill up

  Expected high winds from Hurricane Delta could temporarily close Mississippi State Fair

  COVID-19 cases spike almost one week after state mask mandate ends

  Experimental antibody cocktail used to treat POTUS also available through UMMC clinical trial

  Doctors: Treatments suggest President Trump has ‘moderate’ case of COVID-19

  State leaders discuss their bouts with COVID-19, react to Trump’s diagnosis

Kionta Alexander, 27

Brandon Sargent, 23

  State Health Officer: ‘I don’t know’ if ending statewide mask mandate was right move