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.

  3 On Your Side Investigates: Preferential Treatment

  New Koch Foods court filing claims ICE raid search ‘illegal', violation of Fourth Amendment

Michael Anthony Hopson, 28

Waller campaign hits four counties on eve of runoff

Illyannaii Dawson, 22

  Waller refutes ‘liberal’ advertising claims, looks ahead to November

Nicholas Boykin, 26

Earnest Myers Jr., 29

  Pelahatchie mayor, alderman blame each other for paycheck delay

  3 On Your Side Investigates: Inside the ICE Raids

  Pelahatchie alderman: Mayor’s failure to sign paychecks will delay some employees’ pay until next week

Jurqwoine Cattenhead, 19

  Bill Waller Jr. shares why he wants to be Mississippi’s next governor

  Turmoil in Pelahatchie: Mayor’s lawsuit against aldermen aims to have them removed

Michael Woods, 29

  3 On Your Side Investigates: Emergency Delayed

Earl Lee Clark, 63

DeShun Ferrell, 26

April shooting death of Jackson man ruled homicide, coroner says

  MEMA: Flash flooding still possible from remnants of Barry until Monday evening

3OYS investigation reveals accused killer of Celeste McDonald served time for sex crime conviction

Family: Celeste McDonald tried to press charges against accused killer in final days

Ronnie Thompson, 30

  Documents reveal Hinds Co. sheriff’s settlements will cost more than originally reported

Cedric Willis, 44

Renado Brady, 33

  Exclusive: Pelahatchie mayor agrees to pay thousands after settling civil suit

Maggie Jones, 19

  3 On Your Side Investigates: Dental Dilemma

Joe Dozier, 46