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Self-proclaimed internet sleuth Donald V. Watkins draws fire for “libelous lies”

Bill Britt

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By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

According to his Wikipedia page, Donald V. Watkins – born September 8, 1948 – is an American trial attorney, banker and entrepreneur. As of late, Watkins has styled himself as an investigative reporter posting to Facebook. In his latest installment on social media, Watkins accuses Dr. Joe Perkins, founder of Matrix, of potentially criminal activities, along with suggesting the Alabama Political Reporter and the Tuscaloosa News printed pandering dribble with regards to the alleged rape of Megan Rondini.

Rondini’s story is sad and sensational, but a grand jury found that her accusations of rape by T.J. Bunn Jr., were not credible. However, Watkins continues in his so-called reports to dispute the facts of the case even though a judge released all of the records in the Rondini matter.

Allegations of rape, details of a tragic night

Megan Rondini committed suicide in February 2016 resulting in her parents filing a federal wrongful death suit alleging Bunn, two university employees, the Tuscaloosa County sheriff, a sheriff’s deputy and a sheriff’s office investigator’s actions led to her suicide.

Parents of UA student who committed suicide file wrongful death suit

Watkins accuses Matrix of delivering a flash drive to the Rondini family’s attorney that, according to Watkins, “was to threaten and intimidate the Rondini family.”

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Perkins responded to Watkins’ accusations in a written statement to APR.

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“Donald Watkins is a financially broken, desperate man suffering from psychological and behavioral problems that have brought him to the brink of ruin,” wrote Perkins. “Under investigation by Federal agencies, he has spent the last several months lying and fabricating slanderous stories for which he must be being paid or has the promise of some reward,” Perkins continued. “In his post since October 26, he has told slanderous and libelous lies for which I intend to sue him. Then, through the lawsuit, we will find out who is paying Watkins to create these lies.”

Watkins claims that Matrix threatened the family with evidence not publicly available, but all evidence in the alleged rape case are public records. Watkins claims that “Only three groups had Court-authorized access to the photographs and video in the police file.” He lists the Rondini family, the Bunn family and the Tuscaloosa News, which he accuses Matrix as having co-opted with some scheme of his imagining.

APR has a copy of the video that Watkins refers to as “playful” in his Facebook sleuthing posts. APR chose not to publish the video because of the salacious nature of the recording. What Watkins finds as Megan “sitting up in her bed, playfully talking about her evening at Harry’s Bar, and eating a snack,” is actually a cellphone recording of her describing having anal sex with a male she identifies in the tape.

Watkins is currently facing federal charges of bilking millions from professional athletes, according to a report by al.com.

In his social media reports, Watkins has now seemingly accused a private citizen and company of crimes. He has also aimed his malice at APR and the Tuscaloosa News for printing the facts in the Rondini matter, which exposes the falsehood of his so-called reports.

 

Bill Britt is editor-in-chief at the Alabama Political Reporter and host of The Voice of Alabama Politics. You can email him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter.

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