More men charged in football bet murder case


Two more men are now charged in connection with a December 2017 murder that allegedly stemmed from a dispute over a football bet.

Takyme James, 40, was arrested just days after the Dec. 3, 2017, shooting death of Tony Sanders at Sanders’ home in the 3600 block of Jones Street in Texarkana, Texas. Recently warrants were issued for two men, Laprense Willis, 44, and Clarence Willis, 46, who allegedly accompanied James when he went to Sanders’ home to confront him that night.

According to a probable cause affidavit, Sanders and James were involved in a physical altercation earlier in the day at a club over a football game. Sanders allegedly punched James during the scuffle.

Sanders wife reported to police that she observed James, Clarence Willis and LaPrense Willis drive by her home and park around the corner the night of her husband’s death. The wife reported that Clarence Willis and James confronted Sanders in his driveway and that she hid in a bedroom in the house.

Sanders’ wife allegedly told officers she heard the sound of someone kicking in her front door before hearing a gunshot. Sanders suffered a severe gunshot wound to his upper right leg and died of his injury that night at a local hospital.

LaPrense Willis appeared with Texarkana lawyer Joe Tyler on Monday morning for a pre-indictment hearing before 5th District Judge Bill Miller. LaPrense Willis’ case is being referred to a Bowie County grand jury for indictment.

James was indicted earlier this year. He appeared before Miller for a pretrial hearing Monday afternoon with Texarkana lawyer Derric McFarland. James’ case is scheduled for a jury trial in December.

Clarence Willis has not yet appeared in court in connection with the case. Records show he was serving time in federal prison for a drug crime until last week.

Murder is punishable by five to 99 years or life in prison.

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