A man accused of shooting to death a Nebraska man driving through Mississippi will not stand trial in his death until next year.
Attorneys for 29-year-old James D. Willie have been granted more time to prepare his defense.
Willie faces the possibility of the death penalty in the shooting death of Thomas Schlender of Raymond, NE. Authorities found Schlender shot to death inside his pickup in the median of southbound I-55 near Pope, MS on May 8th. Schlender had been traveling from Nebraska to Florida to pick up his grandson from college.
Willie also is accused of shooting to death Lori Anne Carswell. Her body was found lying near her car on the shoulder of Mississippi Highway 713, near I-69 in Tunica County. She had been on her way home from work. Willie faces a separate trial in that case.
The trial in the Schlender killing was set to begin Monday. A status hearing will be held at the beginning of next year to set a new date for the trial.
Prosecutors offered Willie a plea deal; life in prison without parole. He rejected it.