Grand jury indicts two for murder

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A Bowie County grand jury indicted two men for murder Thursday in connection with a fatal shooting for which a third man is already serving a life sentence.

Clarence Willis, 46, and LaPrense Willis, 44, were indicted for murder Thursday in the death of Tony Sanders. Sanders, 51, was fatally shot by James at his home on the night of Dec. 3, 2017. James was sentenced to life in prison by a jury following a trial in December.

James was attending a football party at a private club hosted by Sanders on the afternoon of the shooting. James was drunk and creating a disturbance at the gathering so Sanders asked him to leave, according to testimony given at James’ trial in December 2018. James initiated a physical confrontation with Sanders, who was able to gain the upper hand in the confrontation at the party.

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After James left, he went to the home of his cousins, Clarence Willis and LaPrense Willis, and three men went together to Sanders’ home. According to testimony at James’ trial, Clarence Willis kicked in the door of Sanders’ home and James fired a shot that went through some drywall before hitting Sanders in a main artery in his leg.

Sanders’ wife, who was hiding in a bedroom, called 911. Texarkana, Texas, police attempted to stop the bleeding but the location of the bullet wound made treating it difficult. Sanders died that night in a local hospital.

LaPrense Willis is currently out of jail on a $50,000 bond. Clarence Willis remains in custody. The men face five to 99 years or life in prison if convicted. The cases are assigned to 5th District Judge Bill Miller.

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