The child rape case of former The Willis Family star Toby Willis has suffered yet another delay. The fifth Toby Willis trial delay–and first of 2017–came during what was supposed to be his first court appearance of 2017, following the November 30 order that he undergo an extensive mental health examination.
At the time, Judge Philip Maxey’s “patience was visibly tested” when Willis’ attorney, Michael Shipman, said that recent conversations with his client had led him to question Willis’ mental competence. But, given the seriousness of the charges against Willis, Judge Maxey granted Shipman’s request for a psychiatric evaluation.
However, according to The Tennessean, that evaluation is either incomplete or yet to begin. Because of the delay, Willis’ next appearance–still for an evidentiary hearing–is scheduled for May 31, or nearly three more months from now.
Last August, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation began looking into claims that Willis raped a 12-year-old family member in 2002. After the TBI issued a warrant for his arrest, Willis fled to Kentucky, and was apprehended by local police and extradited to Cheatham County, where he’s been imprisoned since September 13.
At the time that news of his arrest broke, Toby’s wife Brenda offered the family’s only statement on the matter, saying that she was “shocked and devastated,” that her “first priority remains with [her] children,” and that the Cheatham County District Attorney has her and her family’s “complete support.”
(Photo credits: Toby Willis trial delay via Cheatham County jail, Greenville KY Sheriff’s Department)