Man Charged in Death of Teen Appears in Court

A man charged with murder in a wreck that caused the death of a teenage girl made his first court appearance.

Authorities say the suspect, 39-year-old Robert Willis and the victim, 15-year old Whitney Lake had known one another for months.

Andy Hughes, with the Houston Co. Sheriff's Dept. said, "She had been living with his family since the beginning of September."

Officials say Sergeant Tim Ward was making the rounds and noticed a vehicle parked in a rural area with fogged windows.

"We have suspicion to believe that there was sexual contact between Mr. Willis and the victim of this case," Hughes continued.

When Sergeant Ward made a stop at the car, Willis put the car in drive and the pursuit began.

Willis eventually lost control and flipped his vehicle over a bridge, killing Lake.

Willis made his first court appearance Monday via Web cam from the Houston County Jail.

Alabama District Attorney Doug Valeska says a law needs to be made to stop these tragedies. "If you get stopped and you're going to jail, it can't be as bad as facing a murder charge and the death and destruction you bring to other families in this state with their loved ones."

The sheriff's department is working together with Alabama state troopers and the Alabama Bureau of Investigation on the case.

No bond was set for Willis Monday afternoon; however, he has another hearing on Wednesday requested by his attorney to make a 10,000 dollar bond.


You must be logged in to post comments.

Username:
Password (case sensitive):
Remember Me:

Read Comments

Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Outraged student Location: wicksburg high school on Feb 12, 2008 at 12:50 PM
    do you know what you people are talking about....no...none of you know her like her "REAL" friends know her....you dont know the facts so dont judge anyone all of you should be ashamed of yourselfs espically adults that are talking about this.. god only and god alone has the right to judge...we loved whitney and we always will its not right to hear all of you talk about her so bad...or that man you dont know the facts so dont act like you do...i only know what the newspapers know...what bout you probaly the newspaper...everyone tells us its not a big deal...but it is we have to live with the fact our friend died so young and you keep edging it out quit show some respect
  • by Marinna Location: Citrus county on Jan 30, 2008 at 05:39 PM
    I knew Whitney from when she used to attend my school. No one deserves to die. No matter what they were doing wrong. SHE WAS A GOOD PERSON the only one to blame is the man that did this to her. RIP WHITNEY
  • by Anonymous on Jan 30, 2008 at 05:17 PM
    Victom had no business being with someone as old as he. No person should be released for a murder.It not right for a person to be killed and the killer be set free.
  • by Belinda Location: Alabama on Jan 30, 2008 at 12:13 PM
    So are you saying we shouldn't worry about giving the man his punishment and let God control his punishment? I don't think so...I am a Jesus Follower, but I realize that there is scum on this earth and we need to protect our children from them. I don't think God "did this" to get people's attention...this man did this because he was selfish and only thinking of himself.
  • by Belinda Location: Alabama on Jan 30, 2008 at 12:03 PM
    This man should serve the maximum for murder and another life sentence for statuatory rape. He should not have been left alone with the girl. I'm sure when the evidence is evaluated, the truth will come out and he will be looking at more charges. He ran to get out of the statuatory rape charges, only to find himself facing murder charges.
  • by A Christian's Point of View on Jan 30, 2008 at 09:26 AM
    Everyone needs to quit worrying about who or what is to blame and realize that God is in control of everything. He knows exactly when everyone of us are going to die and how we are going to die. Unfortunately for some of us He has to use something like this to get people's attention. He wants everybody to come to know Him as their personal Lord and Savior and people are just hard headed. They think they have all the time in the world to get saved but that's just it, none of us know how long we do have.Think about this young girl and how fast her life was taken,I'm sure she and her parents thought she had many more years to come but God knew differently. It is a sad situation but if she was saved she is better off right now in heaven than we will ever be here on earth. People just don't understand that because satan has them so blinded by the way he wants them to live. You don't have to worry about this guy being punished because God will do the punishing.
  • by Jane Location: Florida on Jan 30, 2008 at 05:27 AM
    the parents also left the oldest child in Florida when they moved to Alabama a few years ago - teenagers need their parents just as much as smaller children - shame on them - they are as much to blame as that predator - the authorities should investigate why this child was in this man's home instead of in the custody of her parents
  • by DIANA Location: DOTHAN on Jan 29, 2008 at 05:23 PM
    IT IS SUCH A TRAGIC LOSING A CHILD BUT IF SHE WERE AT HOME WITH HER PARENTS WHERE A 15YEAR OLD CHILD SHOULD BE SHE STILL MIGHT BE HERE. BUT HE DESERVES EVERYTHING HE GETS PLUS ALOT MORE.
  • by RANDY TURNER Location: ELBA AL on Jan 29, 2008 at 03:34 PM
    A FIFTEEN YEAR OLD HAS THE RIGHT TO DECIDE WHERE THEY WANT TO LIVE IN THE STATE OF ALABAMA . ANYBODY WHO DOES NOT BELEIVE THAT SHOULD GET A DIVORCE AND YOU WILL FIND OUT REAL QUICK. THE PARENTS ARE GETTING CONVICTED JUST TO POINT FINGERS AT PEOPLE. THAT IS WRONG .THE PEOPLE TO BLAME WERE IN THE VEHICLE.
  • by Danny Location: Crystal River, FL on Jan 29, 2008 at 01:43 PM
    Why would you even mention the parents. Who are you to judge other peoples parenting skills. I personally know the Lakes from when they used to live in Citrus County Florida. They were not bad people. You probaly weren't so good yourself at 15 were you?
  • Page:
WTVY-TV 285 N Foster Street Dothan, AL 36303 334-792-3195
Copyright © 2002-2016 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 14602092 - wtvy.com/a?a=14602092
Gray Television, Inc.