Suspect Arrested in Fatal Highway Shootings in Mississippi

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

Authorities in Mississippi say they've arrested a suspect in two fatal highway shootings that happened late at night along desolate stretches.

Mississippi Department of Public Safety spokesman Warren Strain says 28-year-old James D. Willie of Sardis, Miss., will be charged with two counts of capital murder in the shootings.

Strain says Willie was not posing as a police officer in the shootings, as authorities previously suspected.

Willie was arrested at 9 a.m. May 15 when Tunica police responded to a reported disturbance at 2661 Old Highway 61, Apt. D-2. Authorities found Willie with a woman who alleged he had raped her and he was taken into custody.

Officials say at the time of his arrest, a Ruger 9mm semi-automatic handgun was found in Willie’s possession. It was determined after a testing by state Crime Lab scientists, the weapon matched the weapon used in two murders in northwest Mississippi last week.

Mississippi law enforcement agencies had warned motorists that someone might be posing as an officer because the shooting victims had no obvious reason to be stopped on the interstate where they
were found.

Tuesday, May 8, Thomas K. Schlender, 74, of Raymond, Nebraska was found in his 1999 Ford F-150 pick-up truck in the median of southbound Interstate 55 shortly after 1:30 a.m.

Friday, May 11 at about 2:15 a.m., Lori Anne Carswell, 48, of Hernando was found beside her 1997 Pontiac Grand Am. The car was on the shoulder of MS 713.

Schlender’s car was found in the median of Interstate 55 near the Pope exit in Panola County and Carswell’s car was located in Tunica County near the intersection of MS713 and Interstate 69.

Willie is charged with aggravated assault, kidnapping and rape, as well as two counts of capital murder.

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  • by RAN RAN Location: Stonewall on May 18, 2012 at 07:15 PM
    This man will have his day in court , and if found guilty & gets the Death sentence ? His next 25 ? years will be on the taxpayers dime ! I,m sure he didn't give his victims 25 years to prepare to be killed ! The only good outcome , would have been if he had pulled over the third victim , and they were armed & took the action necessary to have stopped this instantly ! It would have saved all of us a lot of Money ! Regardless of the race of the killer , or the victims , that does'nt matter ! The victims had the right to continue living ! And the accused killer needs to die ( If found guilty in a Court of Law ! Nobody should try to make this a racial issue , one way or the other ! Right is Right , & Wrong is Wrong ! You don't have to be any color to see that ! Even transparent people would know that !
  • by liberal democrat on May 18, 2012 at 04:49 PM
    All this poor poor man needs is some counseling. The death penalty is so cruel. He probably had a bad childhood and counseling will cure him. We have been working so hard to get the justice system changed to be more friendly to the criminals. Only us liberals seem to be smart enough to understand that. He didn't mean to hurt them. Shame shame. Can't you just see a wonderful world thru are eyes. Go green
    • reply
      by ... on May 19, 2012 at 04:53 PM in reply to liberal democrat
      Your crazy if you believe that! Someone who kills other people should not get to have a second chance! & counseling for a killer??? Like I said, your crazy!
  • by bearhunter on May 18, 2012 at 04:39 PM
    They also need to charge him with a hate crime if all the victims were white, just like they do if it was the other way around. If he is found guilty and I am sure he will, I am sure There will be droves of black people including the naacp saying he didn't get a fair trial and the system is racist.
  • by Connie on May 18, 2012 at 02:15 PM
    I would just like to know Why???? Why??????? Why did he feel the need to kill these innocent people.
  • by Everette Location: Union on May 18, 2012 at 01:51 PM
    I Hope This ______ Gets Thirty days In The Electric Chair.And everyday They Turn up The voltage A little more until His ___ is A Crispy Creature......
  • by Chief Location: Alabama on May 18, 2012 at 12:58 PM
    I wonder if we will hear the term "HATE CRIME" used in this story?. Probably not! I think it only works one way
  • by shelvia cullum Location: DAVENPORT IA on May 18, 2012 at 12:57 PM
  • by Carol on May 18, 2012 at 12:40 PM
    "If he was not posing as a police officer", why else would a woman, who is alone pull over for a stranger????? I think that is common sense.
  • by Faye Location: Prismatic on May 18, 2012 at 12:19 PM
    Just shoot him with the gun he used to kill other people with, that way we won't have to house, feed and pay for a lawyer to defend his sorry, good for nothing behind!!!!
  • by Anonymous on May 18, 2012 at 12:07 PM
    If found guilty, he needs to be executed immediately and not allowed to be a burden to the tax payers.
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