ORT: Evaluation scheduled for teen suspected of killing mother

According to our partners at Oak Ridge Today, an evaluation was scheduled last week for an Anderson County teenager accused of fatally shooting his sleeping mother after she punished him by taking away his cell phone.

19-year-old Shawn Tyler Willis of Rocky Top was charged with first-degree murder after he allegedly shot his mother, 38-year-old Sandy K. Willis, as she slept in their home on Andy’s Ridge Road on April 20, 2020. Willis pleaded not guilty in December 2020.

Oak Ridge Today says that “although Willis was a juvenile at the of the alleged crime, he turned 18 in August 2021, and he is being tried as an adult in Anderson County Criminal Court in Clinton.”

Shawn Tyler Willis (ACSD)

According to court documents, Willis admitted to investigators that he had shot his mother with a gun from her own nightstand as she slept.  In an interview with Detective Don Scuglia, Willis said that he had taken the gun from his mother’s nightstand while she slept, took it downstairs to load it so that she would not hear him, and then returned to her room, where he “walked around the victim’s bed, to the opposite side of the room, positioned himself alongside her bed, and shot her at close range, on the left side of her head, thus causing her death.”

He could face a minimum sentence of life in prison with the possibility of parole if convicted.

His next court appearance is set for January 9th.

For more on this story, visit our partners at www.oakridgetoday.com.

About Jim Harris

Jim Harris has been WYSH's News & Sports Director since 2000. In addition to reporting local news, he is the play-by-play voice for Clinton High School football, boys' and girls' basketball and baseball. Catch Jim live weekdays beginning at 6:30 am for live local news, sports, weather and traffic plus the Community Bulletin Board, shenanigans with Ron Meredith and more on the Country Club Morning Show on WYSH. Jim lives in Clinton with his wife Kelly and daughter Carolina, and cats Oliver, Bow and Libby.

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One comment

  1. He needs to be done the same way …. The way he did his mom it makes me sick low life of a son