Tyler Battles found guilty in 2019 killing of Willoe Watkins in Tuscaloosa County

Crime

TUSCALOOSA COUNTY, Ala. (WIAT) — Tyler Battles was found guilty in the murder of 20-year-old Willoe Watkins Wednesday afternoon.

Jury members found Battles guilty around 3:45 p.m. following a two-day trial in Tuscaloosa. Battles was convicted of killing Watkins in 2019 and disposing her body afterwards.

Jennifer Cox, the victim’s stepmother, spoke with CBS 42 on Tuesday and 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 ongoing 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 said Battles killed Watkins in 2019 and then dumped the victim’s body down a well in Vance near an abandoned home. Watkins was reported missing in June 2019 and her body was discovered the next month in July.

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, Battles poured concrete to conceal the murder.

Battles will be sentenced at a later date.

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