Death row inmate asks for new trial in dismemberment slayings

JONESBOROUGH, Tenn. (AP) -- Howard Hawk Willis, who awaits execution in the killing of a young Georgia couple, has asked for a new trial in Jonesborough.

The 60-year-old Willis was convicted a year ago in the dismemberment killing of 17-year-old Adam Chrismer and his 16-year-old wife, Samantha. Their bodies were found in plastic tubs in a rental storage unit in Johnson City in 2002.

After years of legal wrangling, the court refused to appoint yet another attorney for Willis, who represented himself at trial.

Judge Jon Kerry Blackwood appointed Knoxville attorney James Simmons to handle Willis' appeal.

A hearing on the motion for a new trial is scheduled for Dec. 8, according to the Johnson City Press.


(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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