Man arrested in death of parents

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Posted: Nov 16, 2011 4:33 PM
Updated: Nov 16, 2011 4:33 PM
Source: Associated Press

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Topics: slidell, hammer, murder, arrest, beating, parents, crime, john willis, wbrz, louisiana

SLIDELL - St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's investigators blame an argument about household chores for the bloody beating deaths of a Slidell couple.

Sheriff Jack Strain said Wednesday that 25-year-old John Willis was arrested on two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Lewis Willis, 62, and Helen Willis, 58.

Strain said a friend of John Willis called 911 Tuesday night saying he and arrived at the family's home and found the couple dead. The sheriff said Willis later confessed to the murders. Based on Willis' admission and evidence collected at the scene, investigators believe Willis struck his parents in the head with a hammer, causing their deaths.

Dr. Peter R. Galvan, the parish coroner, said both victims died of multiple injuries to the head, resulting in severe head trauma and skull fractures.

Willis told investigators he and his parents had been involved in an on-going disagreement about his failure to take on adult responsibilities.

Willis, who has no previous criminal record, was being held without bond at the St. Tammany Parish Jail. It was not immediately known whether Willis had an attorney.

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