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Man charged in weekend slaying has history of domestic trouble

The 81-year-old man charged with fatally shooting a 38-year-old woman Saturday has been accused of domestic violence-related incidents at least five times since 2007, according to police records.

Willie Lee Willis was not convicted in connection with the episodes, and none involved Sharon Denise Burns, the woman he’s accused of killing Saturday.

Willis’ granddaughter Linda Willis, 38, has said her grandfather used to date Burns’ mother and was “like a father” to Burns, who lived with him at 3688 Case St.

An autopsy revealed that Burns was shot three times — in the chest, neck and arm, Bibb County Coroner Leon Jones said.

In 2007, a 51-year-old Macon woman told police that Willis had accused her and her 33-year-old daughter of stealing money from him as the three of them ran errands. After Willis’ accusation, the woman called for a cab, according to a police report.

Willis allegedly fired shots at the woman and her daughter as they got into the cab. A bullet hit the door, shattering the window. No one was injured, though, according to the report.

Willis was charged with aggravated assault, according to police.

In 2008, the woman’s 33-year-old daughter reported that Willis pointed a rifle at her 17-year-old son, according to a police report.

She identified Willis as her mother’s ex-boyfriend, and she maintained that Willis had been stalking her mother. The 17-year-old had tried to intervene, but Willis threatened to kill him if he continued to intervene in the situation, according to the report.

Willis was charged with pointing a pistol at another person, stalking and terroristic threats, according to police.

The 2007 and 2008 cases were dismissed because the 51-year-old woman, a witness, died of natural causes before the cases went to trial, according to the Bibb County District Attorney’s Office.

On April 28, Willis’ wife reported that he threatened to kill her if she left him. The next day, she reported that he pointed a shotgun at her and said, “I want my $2,000 or I will kill you,” according to police reports.

Willis subsequently was charged with making terroristic threats, according to a police report.

In June, Willis’ wife reported that Willis had called and threatened to shoot her even though he’d been released from jail on the condition that he wouldn’t contact her, according to a report.

The 2009 cases have not been taken before a grand jury, according to the district attorney’s office.

Linda Davis, 65, who has lived next door to Willis for about 30 years, said she heard the gunshots Saturday morning that killed Burns.

She said Willis pulled up in his driveway in a car with his wife. Burns, who was already at the house, went to the driver’s side of the car to talk to Willis. He got out of the car to urinate in the yard, and while he was doing so Burns grabbed money out of his pocket, Davis said.

“He begged her to give the money back, and then he went in the house and he came out with a pistol,” Davis said.

Then she heard gunshots.

Willis is being held without bond at the Bibb County jail.

Information from The Telegraph’s archives was included in this report. To contact writer Amy Leigh Womack, call 744-4398.

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