(WMC-TV) – The father of the man suspected of being the 'Roadside Killer' spoke to media Monday as his son faced a judge for the first time.
James Willie is facing charges of first degree murder in the shooting deaths of two people found dead in their vehicles along Mississippi highways.
Cameras were not allowed inside the courtroom, but Action News 5's Ben Watson was there. He said Willie was led into the courtroom wearing shackles on his legs, hands, and waist. He showed little emotion as the judge set his bond at $1,250,000.
Willie's father, Johnny Youngblood, and other relatives attending the hearing Monday. Youngblood says he has not been able to speak to his son since the arrest last Tuesday.
"He got his appearance in court, so later on we will get a lawyer and see what we will be able to do for him," said Willie's father, Johnny Youngblood. "Yeah, I have some questions I'm going to ask him what based upon his life. I want to know the truth about what happened and what's going on today, I want to know what the truth is."
Willie was arrested after a woman told police that he raped her. During an investigation, officers recovered a gun.
That gun was sent to the crime lab and the results matched it to the series of recent roadside shootings that killed two people in Mississippi.
Tunica County Sheriff K.C. Hamp says right now, Willie is locked up under a suicide watch.
"He's being held by himself, he's on a 15 minute suicide watch. Any time we have a crime like this we always place people on 15 minute suicide watch, we isolated him," said Sheriff Hamp.
Willie's father says that his son suffers from mental problems and had not been taking his medication.
Youngblood says he is praying for the families of the people his son is accused of shooting.
"I'm sorry for what happened, to the best of my knowledge; I really don't know what go on. I wasn't around, wasn't nowhere in sight, but I'm sorry, we are praying for your family as well as ours," he said.