Willis Murder Update
For Immediate Release December 30, 2013
Willis Murder Update
Sheriff Jimmy Harris states as follows:
Sheriff Jimmy Harris reports the transfer of Michael Stanley Townsel Jr., Christopher Todd Cagle, and Delia May Downs was transferred to the Marshall County Jail over the weekend. All three are suspects in the murder of Gary L Willis of Sardis. Townsel, Cagle, and Downs are currently being held in the jail on charges of kidnapping 1st degree and have bonds set at $1 million each. All three have drug charges in DeKalb County also. The investigation into the death of Willis is still on-going and investigators continue to get information and evidence. The case is being turned over to Marshall County after the investigation revealed facts about the beating, kidnapping, and subsequent murder of Willis. A Friday morning meeting with all members of the Homicide Task Force was useful in determining the proper venue to charge these suspects. Marshall County District Attorney Steve Marshal and DeKalb County District Attorney Mike O’Dell are working together to ensure this case goes forward in order to give justice and closure to the Willis family. Additional charges are expected and will be announced by Marshall County District Attorney Steve Marshal and Sheriff Scott Walls. During this investigation officials from several agencies came together to form this Task Force with great results. In addition to the arrests mentioned previously, DeKalb County office executed a drug search warrant and several consent searches during this investigation. Arrested during the search warrant were Cagle, Downs, Denise Maria McGathey, 35 of Crossville, John Henry McGathey, 34 of Crossville, and Jose Perez, 24 of Albertville.
Cagle,Downs, Denise McGathey and John McGathey are all charged with Unlawful Possession of Controlled Substance and Unlawful Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. John McGathey was also charged with resisting arrest. Perez is charged with Unlawful Possession of Controlled Substance, Unlawful Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, and Public Intoxication.
Michael Stanley Townsel, 28 of Fort Payne was arrested on charges of Unlawful Possession of Controlled Substance, Unlawful Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Consperience to commit a drug crime, and Theft of Property 3rd. Randy Lewayne Snow, 32 of Boaz was arrested on Failure to Appear for Unlawful Possession of Controlled Substance, and an additional charges of Unlawful Possession of Controlled Substance, Unlawful Possession of Drug Paraphernalia and Promoting Prison Contraband charges.
Desiree Sheree Cook, 23 of Fort Payne was arrested and charged with Unlawful Possession of Controlled Substance and Unlawful Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.
Kevin Euil Goble, 35 of Crossville was arrested and charged with Failure to Appear.
Harris states “I would like to say how glad I am to bring this case to this point so quickly. We had the suspects in jail within 72 hours of the discovery of Mr. Willis’ body. The response from all the agencies we contacted during this investigation was tremendous. I want to thank Chief Nelson Gregory and Fire Chief Barry Sparks of Geraldine for the good job they did preserving the crime scene and quickly calling for investigators, my staff for the hundreds of hours put into this case, State Fire Marshall Ed Paulk for sending additional deputies to assist the State Fire Marshall Ray Cumby who worked the case from day one. Etowah County Sheriff Todd Entrekin, Cherokee County Sheriff Jeff Shaver, Jackson County Sheriff Chuck Phillips and certainly Marshall County Sheriff Scott Walls for all the work their office did and continue to do in this case. We also had help from Guntersville Police Department, the FBI Safe Streets Task Force, the US Marshalls Gulf Coast Regional Task Force, and Drug units from all 5 Counties. We received tips from several sources and we continue to develop information. This case is now going to Marshall County prosecutors, we have every confidence in and District Attorney Mike O’Dell and Bob Johnston have worked great with us during this case. We know Marshall County District Attorney Steve Marshall will get justice for the Willis family.”