Man indicted in north Miss. highway shooting case

James Willie

TUNICA – (AP) A Sardis man charged in the roadside shootings of two people in North Mississippi earlier this summer has been indicted on a charge of murder in one of the slayings that occurred in Tunica County.

The Commercial Appeal reports that a grand jury on Aug. 13 returned an indictment for capital murder against James Willie in the shooting death of Lori Anne Carswell of Hernando.

Authorities say Willie also was indicted on charges of rape, kidnapping, possession of a stolen firearm and aggravated assault.

The woman’s body was found on May 11 lying in the road near her car on the shoulder of Mississippi Highway 713 in Tunica County.

Authorities say Carswell, who worked at Fitzgeralds Casino, was on her way home from work. She had been shot once in the head.

Panola County Sheriff Dennis Darby said Friday more charges are pending against Willie as authorities await an indictment against him in the roadside slaying of Thomas K. Schlender, 74, of Raymond, Neb.

Schlender was found shortly on May 8. He had been shot to death inside his pickup truck in the median of southbound Interstate 55 near the Pope, Miss., exit in Panola County.

Authorities say Schlender was traveling to Florida to pick up his grandson from college.

Willie remains in the Tunica County jail under a $1.5 million bond.

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