Victims family has emotional outburst as Columbus double murder suspect seeks bond

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The man accused of killing a Columbus father and his 3-year-old son in December of 2018 was in Superior Court Tuesday morning seeking a bond.

An attorney for Antonio “Tony” Willis told Judge Gil McBride that her client had been in jail for more than 180 days and was entitled to bond.

There was an emotional outburst in court from the family of Joseph Banks and Je’ceiden Roberts as they pleaded with the judge not to set a bond for a man facing double murder charges.

Several family members had to be escorted from the courtroom as one shouted an obscenity at Willis, who stood in front of the judge by his attorney, public defender Natalie Murphree.

Willis attorney told the judge that Willis would stay with his sister and had a job if he could post a reasonable bond.

McBride did not set a bond. He continued the hearing until Dec. 10 when he could hear from Willis’ sister, who was not there today.

Willis is accused of shooting Banks and his son to death on Nov. 27, 2018. He was identified as a suspect not long after the bodies were discovered near a vacant lot on Stuart Drive in south Columbus. Police say security video showed Willis in a truck with Banks and Roberts at the Colony Inn on Victory Drive.

Willis eluded law enforcement for nearly five months before he was taken into custody by U.S. Marshals in Atlanta.

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