A now 18-year-old Rocky Top man is being tried as an adult in the April 2020 murder of his mother, all because, authorities say, he was mad when she took his phone away from him.
Shawn T. Willis is accused of murdering Sandy Willis on the morning of April 20, 2020, in the Andy's Ridge Road home they shared. Willis, then 16, shot the sleeping woman at close range with her own pistol, which she kept on her nightstand, after loading the gun in another room, court records state.
Authorities released no information about the killing at the time. He was an Anderson County High School junior at the time, according to records.
Sandy Willis, 38, was found dead in her bed after the incident, records state.
Shawn Willis turned 18 in August. He was 16 when he killed his mother, authorities allege.
The teen previously was housed at the Richard L. Bean Juvenile Service Center but is now being kept in the Anderson County Jail as an adult. He's being held in lieu of $1 million bond, according to Anderson County Sheriff's Office spokesman Tyler Mayes.
Willis first was prosecuted in Anderson County Juvenile Court before the case was transferred to adult court.
"The proof will show that this defendant was angry with his mother, Sandy Willis, for punishing him by taking his cell phone away from him. This defendant waited until his mother fell asleep and retrieved a gun from his mother's room," Anderson County court records state.
Sandy Willis suffered two gunshots to the head.
"(Willis) later called his girlfriend to report his mother was in the bed with blood on her," records state. "(Willis's) girlfriend's father arrived at the home and checked on (Sandy Willis), finding her deceased. (Willis) gave numerous conflicting stories as to what had happened, but weeks after the incident, he was interviewed by the detective in this case, where this defendant did admit to shooting his mother in the head as she slept."
Willis is set to appear in Anderson County Criminal Court on Dec. 3.