JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (AP) - The aunt of the chief suspect in a bizarre murder and dismemberment case has pleaded guilty to tampering with evidence in the crime.
Marie Holmes, 75, is the aunt of Howard Hawk Willis, who is accused of murdering Adam Chrismer, 17, and Samantha Leming, 16, both from Walker County, Ga. The young newlyweds' bodies were found in a storage building in October, while Chrismer's head and hands were pulled from a nearby lake.
Authorities say Holmes urged Willis' ex-wife to destroy a tape on which Willis allegedly confessed to the crime. She pleaded guilty Tuesday to a soliciting the tampering of evidence charge.
Willis' mother and Holmes' sister, Emma Elizabeth Hawk, also faces a solicitation charge, as well as two counts of abuse of a corpse and one count of accessory after the fact of first-degree murder.
Willis also is a suspect in the death and dismemberment of his stepfather, 73-year-old Samuel Thomas of Bradley County, last fall. Thomas' headless, handless torso was recovered near a vacant trailer on Lookout Mountain, Ga.