The latest Toby Willis update brings news of movement in the legal proceedings against the former Willis Family star. Toby, who earlier this year was arrested for the alleged rape of a child, has been held in various prisons for the past two months, as a series of false starts kept his trial from moving forward.
In early September, police in Greenville KY arrested Toby and charged him with raping an underage girl around 14 years ago. (The Tennessean has since reported that the girl’s age was either nine or ten, and that she was a Willis Family relative.) The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation had been looking at Toby for several weeks, following accusations apparently brought by a family member; upon learning of the investigation, Toby fled his family’s home in Tennessee, hitchhiking north until he was caught in Kentucky.
According to The Tennessean, Toby (who was initially acting as his own attorney) waived his right to a preliminary heading within 10 days of his arrest. He was transferred back to Tennessee on September 13 and, thanks to a series of unexpected postponements, has been held in the Cheatham County Jail since then. General Sessions Judge Phillip Maxey was absent for an undisclosed reason on the date of Toby’s first scheduled hearing; after that, his attorneys requested that an October 5th date be rescheduled. Finally, Judge Robert Burch, a long-serving member of the General Sessions court, died of a heart attack over the weekend of October 29th, and almost all of the court’s November 2nd business–including Toby’s preliminary hearing–had to be postponed.
Toby Willis’ preliminary hearing and bond hearing are currently scheduled for Wednesday, November 30.
In the wake of the allegations, TLC has canceled The Willis Family Season 3 and removed the show from its web site. Additionally, all Willis Family social media accounts have been erased. The family has issued no public statements since the family matriarch Brenda Willis gave via her attorney this past September:
I was shocked and devastated by the revelation of events leading to Toby Willis’ arrest. As these are very trying times for the Willis family, I kindly ask all to respect our family’s privacy. As a mother of twelve, my first priority remains with my children and helping them through this traumatic event. We are cancelling all appearances for the foreseeable future to focus on the children and their well-being. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. We have, and will continue, to fully cooperate with law enforcement officials and ask that you direct all inquiries regarding Toby Willis’ case to the District Attorney’s office who have our complete support.
(Photo credit: Toby Willis update via Cheatham County Sheriff’s Office)