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LaPrense Willis
Takyme James
Clarence Willis

A Bowie County grand jury indicted two men Thursday who are accused of being involved in a fatal shooting which has already resulted in a life sentence for a third co-defendant.

Clarence Willis, 46, and LaPrense Willis, 44, were indicted for first-degree murder Thursday in the Dec. 3, 2017, shooting death of 51-year-old Tony Sanders. Their cousin, Takyme Devon James, 41, was found guilty of murder in Sanders' death by a jury in December and sentenced to a life term.

At James' trial, prosecutors argued that James solicited the help of Clarence Willis and LaPrense Willis after Sanders got the best of him in a dust up at a Sunday football-watching gathering at a private club. Witnesses testified that James was intoxicated and belligerent and took a swing at Sanders when Sanders, the party's host, asked him to leave.

After Sanders helped him from the floor and walked him to the door, James allegedly recruited his cousins, Clarence Willis and LaPrense Willis, to help him retaliate, allegedly telling them that he had been "jumped" by several men who left him with a blackened eye and swollen face, according to testimony offered at James' trial in December.

Clarence Willis allegedly kicked in the door of Sanders' home and James allegedly went inside and fired a shot that traveled through a wall before striking Sanders in his upper thigh, perforating a major vein and artery in his leg. Sanders died of blood loss despite valiant efforts to stop the bleeding by Texarkana, Texas, Police Officer Colten Johnson, according to trial testimony.

Clarence Willis remains in custody. LaPrense Willis is currently free on a $50,000 bond. If found guilty of murder, the men face five to 99 years or life in prison.

llarowe@texarkanagazette.com

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