Murder of Billy Shaw by Karri Willoughby re-examined on Snapped

Mugshot of Karri Willoughby
Karri Willoughby pleaded guilty to killing her stepfather. Pic credit: DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office

Snapped on Oxygen is re-showing their investigation into the murder of Billy “Junior” Shaw, who was killed by a lethal injection of drugs administered by his stepdaughter Karri Willoughby at his home in DeKalb County, Alabama.

On April 22, 2008, 65-year-old Shaw was found dead at his home in the rural community of Cartersville, north of Ider, AL. His stepdaughter Willoughby alerted the medical services.

Shaw’s death was initially ruled as a heart attack, but gradually, family members and the police began to suspect his stepdaughter may have been involved.

The cops said that a thorough examination of the crime scene threw up hints of how Shaw actually died.

Willoughby’s sister, Kimberly Dalton, later claimed that she became suspicious of the killer after she admitted to giving Shaw drugs and said she hoped he hadn’t done something stupid with them.

Dalton said later, “That was the turning point to when I became suspicious of her.”

Karri Willoughby killed Billy Shaw by injecting him with drug

In May 2009, Shaw’s body was exhumed, and an autopsy was performed. He was found to have died from an injection of Propofol, the same drug that allegedly killed singer Michael Jackson. At the time, Willoughby worked as a nurse at the Chattanooga Medical Center, where she had access to the drug.

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Propofol is generally used to induce sleep or unconsciousness. It is often used as an anesthetic during short, routine medical tests or operations.

In 2010, Willoughby was indicted on capital murder. She voluntarily turned herself in at the DeKalb County Detention Center.

The police said Willoughby had become bankrupt for a second time and had killed her stepfather to gain a share of his $400,000 estate.

Karri Willoughby pleaded guilty to Billy Shaw murder

Willoughby was all set to go on trial in February 2012, but just before the opening statements were about to be read, she agreed to a plea deal. She pleaded guilty to murder in exchange for a 20-year prison sentence; she was required to serve at least 85 percent or 15 years before being eligible for parole.

Somewhat bizarrely, as Willoughby was transferred from DeKalb County Jail to Tutwiler Women’s Prison, she gave the jail staff autographed photos of herself. Local outlet WAFF 48 said the killer had come to see herself as a celebrity in this high-profile case.

After her conviction, Willoughby claimed Shaw had abused her. In a letter, she wrote, “My actions were never motivated by money, but rather as a means to protect myself and my daughter, who Billy J. Shaw had threatened.”

Her sister, Kimberly Dalton, dismissed these claims of abuse.

This episode of Snapped is replayed Friday at 7/8c on Oxygen.

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