Trial for suspect in roadside shooting Monday

June 2, 2014 11:38:22 AM



SARDIS -- The trial of James D. Willie, accused of fatally shooting of a Nebraska man along a North Mississippi highway in 2012, is scheduled to begin Monday in Panola County Circuit Court in Sardis. 


Willie, 32, is charged in the shooting death Thomas K. Schlender in May 2012. 


The Commercial Appeal reports Schlender of Raymond, Nebraska, was found on May 8, 2012. He had been shot inside his 1999 Ford F-150, which was located in the median of southbound Interstate 55 near the Pope, Mississippi, exit. 


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


The capital murder charge was changed to a murder charge after the defense filed a motion to suppress evidence -- a wallet believed to be Schlender's. Panola County Public Defender David Walker said the wallet was found in a cereal box by police in the Tunica apartment where the suspect had been living with his girlfriend at the time of his May 18 arrest.