Mistrial declared in James Willie murder trial - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Mistrial declared in James Willie murder trial

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TUNICA, Miss. (FOX13) -

A sudden outburst by James D. Willie in Tunica County Criminal Court ended his murder trial as a mistrial was declared.

"He was advised not to do it not to disrupt court," said Chief Deputy Randy Stewart.

MORE: Accused "Mississippi Highway Killer" James Willie's trial underway

Willie, the accused "Mississippi Highway Killer," is accused of killing a man and a woman along two north Mississippi highways in 2012.

The trial lasted just over a day before the judge declared a mistrial.

According to the Office of The Courts in Jackson the mistrial was called for by District Attorney Brenda Mitchell late Tuesday afternoon after Willie started a disturbance in court that eventually got him tased.

According to the Tunica County Sheriff's Department Willie was warned multiple times not to make gestures and to sit down before being tased.
Willie was tased remotely with an ankle bracelet in front of the jury, which was seated late Monday afternoon.

"At the time he was tased on the ankle, taken down, and removed from the courthouse and taken to the sheriff's office," Stewart said.

Law enforcement claims Willie is responsible for the roadside shooting deaths of Tom Schindler in Panola County and three days later for the shooting death of Lori Carswell in Tunica County. Both shootings happened in May of 2012.

Carswell was a Fitzgeralds Tunica Casino worker who had gotten off of work shortly before she was slain near the DeSoto County line. Her body was found along Interstate-69. Investigators tied Willie to the roadside killing after he was arrested for raping a woman.

Willie is accused in the murder Carswell and is also charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and possession of a stolen firearm. He was also implicated in a second murder in Panola County under similar circumstances. Willie faces a charge of capital murder.

But Willie's older brother Jonathan Willie and his sister Latosha Willie Kelson say their brother is innocent and was tired of the court proceedings.
"He was just tired of the lying and wanted people to tell the truth," Kelson said.

"Well, he had a misunderstanding and they wouldn't let him tell his side of the story," added Jonathan Willie. "So he kind of stood up a bit and before he got his story out they went to tasing him."

Willie's family says they think there was a mistrial for other reasons as well.

"I believe their main witness refused to testify," Kelson said. "She flip-flopped."
"I mean, when you got jurors falling asleep in court and not paying attention when someone's life is on the line that says it all," Jonathan Willie added. "I am hoping that we can get a change of venue and get a fair trial. I do feel for the family and for their loss. They deserve justice, whoever did this, killed their daughter."

Willie has been transferred to a Department of Corrections Facility in the Jackson area. No new trial date has been set.

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