Howard Hawk Willis files appeal for new trial, stay of execution

NASHVILLE, TN (WJHL) – While he sits on death row, convicted double-murderer Howard Hawk Willis continues to request a new trial.

Willis filed a petition for post-conviction relief, a motion for a stay of execution and a motion for appointment of counsel two weeks ago, according to Washington County court records.

“My entire case has been political throughout,” Willis said by phone Monday from Riverbend Maximum Security Institution in Nashville. “They’ve failed to follow the law. They put on false testimony at suppression hearings. They put on witnesses that they knew were committing perjury at the trial.”

Willis, who ultimately represented himself at trial after problems with multiple attorneys, argues the court violated his due process rights, including the appointment of counsel.

“Judge (Lynn) Brown had suppression hearings with WJHL (present) without me having any counsel,” Willis said. “This is a violation of due process and I deserve a new trial, because I’m an innocent man.”

In 2010, a jury convicted Willis in the 2002 murders of teenage newlyweds Samantha and Adam Chrismer.

Prosecutors said not only did Willis kill the teens, he also dismembered their bodies and put them in plastic containers at a storage facility.

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