Man Arrested in Highway Deaths Didn't Pose as Cop

James Willie had gun used in murders in his possession: Mississippi police

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted May 18, 2012 6:27 AM CDT

(Newser) – Last night, word was police had detained a suspected police impostor following two murders on Mississippi highways; he hadn't been charged. Now they're holding another man on kidnapping, assault, and rape charges, with capital murder charges forthcoming in the case, the AP reports. Authorities say James Willie, 28, wasn't pretending to be a cop, as police had surmised—but police discovered the gun used in the murders in his possession.

Police investigating a domestic disturbance on Tuesday discovered Willie with a woman who said he'd raped her. During the course of his arrest they found a 9mm Ruger, which ballistic testing has shown to be the gun used in the highway shootings. Authorities haven't provided a motive. As for their earlier theory that the killer was impersonating a cop, "If we're going to err, we're going to err on the side of public safety," said a rep for, appropriately, the state's Department of Public Safety. "The fact is that we got him off the street and people can go back to a level of comfort." Willie is now in a northern Mississippi jail.

This image provided by Tunica, Miss. police  shows James Willie, whom authorities arrested early Friday, May 18, 2012.
This image provided by Tunica, Miss. police shows James Willie, whom authorities arrested early Friday, May 18, 2012.   (AP Photo/Tunica County Sheriff)
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