Download the WREG news and weather apps today

Life sentence for murder of Tunica casino worker

BOLIVAR, Miss. -- A man on trial for the murder of a woman back in 2012 has been found guilty.

James Willie was given a life sentence in court in Bolivar, Mississippi on Thursday.

He was also found guilty on a stolen fire arms charge.

Investigators said on the night of May 11th, 2012, Lori Anne Carswell left her job at Fitzgerald’s casino just before 2 a.m.

Minutes later, witnesses found her laying in a pool of blood next to her still-running car on Highway 69, less than a half mile from the DeSoto County line.

Prosecutors said a bullet casing found near Carswell’s body matches a 9-millimeter Ruger owned by Willie.

They told WREG the Carswell murder happened as Willie and his girlfriend drove back from an Arkansas trip.

In June 2014, Willie was also sentenced to life the murder of 74-year-old Thomas Schlender.

Schlender was shot and killed along I-55 near Pope.