(Desoto County, MS) A hearing Thursday at the Desoto County Courthouse was about the probation James Willie was on when he allegedly shot and killed two people on Mississippi highways.
“I’d like to say innocent until proven guilty. In some cases you are guilty to proven innocent,” Willie told us as he left court Thursday.
Twenty-eight year old James Willie maintained he is innocent as he was led away from court and back to jail after a judge revoked the remaining 5 years of his probation from a 2002 burglary.
When Willie became a suspect in a rape and gun possession case, the judge said he violated probation.
Willie, representing himself in court, said it wasn’t rape, but consensual sex.
“He is an habitual liar. What you heard in the courtroom is a tall tale,” says Mississippi District Attorney John Champion.
James Willie did admit to having a gun, saying he bought it on the streets in Memphis to protect his family.
Police traced that gun back to the May highway shootings of Lori Ann Carswell, whose body was found near her car on Mississippi 713 and to the shooting of 74-year-old Thomas Schlender who was found in his pick up on I-55 in Panola County.
Police tapped James Willie as the gunman.
“Absolutely nothing. You had nothing to do with the shootings? I had nothing to do,” Willie told us.
“We contend he is the highway shooter and we will present evidence to the Grand Jury next week and they will make a decision,” said Champion.
If James Willie is indicted on the Panola County Highway Shooting case, it could still be a while before that case and the one in Tunica go to court.