(Tunica, MS) Jonathan Willie says his brother Jamie is a lot of things, but he’s no killer.
”No, my brother was always into sports, stuff like that."
But he’s standing trial for the 2012 murder of Fitzgerald’s casino employee Lori Anne Carswell, one of two killings dubbed the "Mississippi highway shootings."
Witnesses said they found Carswell’s body laying in the middle of a highway, just below the DeSoto County line, car door open, engine and flashers operating.
They found the casino worker herself, just a couple of feet away, lying face up, blood pouring from her head.
Ballistics’ testing traced a bullet casing from the scene to James Willie’s gun, but his friends say that’s not the peaceful man they know.
”Really, I don’t feel like Jamie did that. That’s not what I knew of Jamie. He was always a good guy to me,” said Moesha Bowman.
But Jamie Willie was also a convicted felon, found guilty of a robbery in his younger days, according to his brother.
Even those who liked him said he had his moments of anger.
”Well, he’s a typical man. Him and his girlfriend got into it, me and my old man get into it, but not to kill nobody,” Bowman said.
But that’s exactly what prosecutors say they can prove, and why friends and family of the accused have come to court.
”What am I hoping to learn? The truth, that he get a fair trial,” said Willie.
The star witness is expected to be Latoya Lewis, who was with Willie, drifting in and out of sleep in her Chevy Equinox when prosecutors say he stopped to kill Lori Anne Carswell.
Her testimony could come as early as Wednesday.