published Friday, June 8th, 2012

Howard Hawk Willis denied retrial in teens’ deaths

JONESBOROUGH, Tenn. — A judge in East Tennessee has denied a death row convict’s motion for a new trial in the slaying of two teens from Chickamauga, Ga., one of whom was dismembered.

According to the Johnson City Press, a court order was entered this week, stating Howard Hawk Willis’ trial had no errors and denying a new trial for the 61-year-old Willis.

He was convicted two years ago and sentenced to death in the 2002 slayings of 17-year-old Adam Chrismer and his 16-year-old wife, Samantha. The couple were from Chickamauga.

The investigation began when a fisherman found the boy’s head floating in Boone Lake. The bodies were found in plastic bins in a rental storage unit in Johnson City.

Special Judge John Kerry Blackwood reviewed Willis’ motion and ruled against his request.

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