(WMC-TV) – Mid-South drivers are cautiously taking a sigh of relief, now that a suspected roadside killer is in jail. For the first time, Action News 5 is hearing from that suspect's mother.
The families of the road side killer's victims now have a face to put with their loved ones' alleged killer, but it's a face the suspect's mother never thought would be associated with murder. Despite the ballistic evidence against him, she says they have the wrong man.
As the rest of the world was told by authorities that he is the North Mississippi road side killer, Freddie Willie saw her son.
"Ain't no way he did this. He ain't that kind of person," Willie said.
She found out just like everyone else.
"This morning when I looked at the TV,"
It's a shock she hopes no other parent has to go through. James Willie was arrested Tuesday on an alleged rape charge. Police said evidence at that scene, including a gun, connected him to the interstate shootings. Freddie has since talked to her son and is convinced he's wrongly accused.
"He said momma it ain't what you think," Willie said.
And his mother believes him. She says Willie never hurt anyone before. His only missteps being arrests for drugs and burglary, never, she says, showing signs of violence like what led to the shootings deaths of 48-year-old Lori Carswell and 74-year-old Thomas Schlender. The victims' families are glad an arrest has been made.
"It was very shocking and relieving to hear they have at least caught him and he's off the streets," Tom Schlender's daughter Tracy Anderson said.
Freddie Willie says she understands what the victims' families are going through as she feels she's also lost her child.
"Just think about it's your child. It's devastating . It's just hard," she said.
Lori Carswell's father in Hernando says she is loved and missed. She was buried yesterday.