TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) — The murder trial for Tyler Battles got underway Tuesday morning in Judge James Roberts courtroom at the Tuscaloosa County Courthouse. Battles is accused of killing 20-year-old Willoe Watkins.
Jennifer Cox, the victim’s stepmother, said her family has been waiting to get justice for two years.
“We are all still in shock. Can’t believe we are going through this or that anybody would have to go through this. It just seems on-going and never ends. It’s terrible and awful and is the worst thing I’ve ever been through in my life and I would not wish this on anybody,” Cox said.
Police claim Battles killed Watkins in 2019 and then allegedly dumped the victim’s body down a well in Vance near an abandoned home. Watkins was reported missing in June and her body was discovered in July.
Jennifer Cox said it was hard to sit inside the courtroom and look at the defendant.
“I don’t see how anybody could do anything like that, it’s monstrous and evil and I don’t understand it and I never will. I will have to come to terms or peace, or I may never,” said Cox.
Investigators said Watkins was beaten with a baseball bat, then struck in the head with a shotgun before being strangled. Police said after the body was dumped in the well Tyler Battles poured concrete to conceal the murder. The District Attorney says the prosecution plans to call six witnesses to testify. The trial is expected to finish on Friday.