Tish Ann Glennon Gillis
Birth: January 24, 1984
Death: September 3, 2003
Husband: Marvin Gillis, Jr.
Burial: New Park Cemetery, Fort Gaines, Clay County, Georgia, USA
The Dothan Eagle
Matt Elofson – Nov 26, 2008
ABBEVILLE — District Attorney Doug Valeska told jurors Tuesday that an Abbeville man killed two people out of pleasure, outlining the prosecution’s case in a capital murder trial.
Michael David Harrison, 33, of Henry County 97, Abbeville, faces capital murder charges for the shootings of Marvin Junior Gillis, 32, and Tish Ann Glennon Gillis, 19, in September of 2003.
Lawyers selected a jury Tuesday and gave their opening statements to the jury outlining their cases. The prosecution will start the presentation of evidence after the Thanksgiving holiday on Tuesday in Abbeville at the Henry County Courthouse.
Valeska argued to the jury that Harrison had told investigators during an interview about an unrelated case that he killed people for pleasure.
The prosecution told the jury Harrison admitted in a statement to law enforcement that he shot the couple after a disagreement with Junior Gillis over who owned a camper.
“He takes that .38 pistol and shoots him right between the eyes,” Valeska said. “She puts up her hand before she’s shot.”
Evidence in the case will show both the husband and wife suffered fatal gunshot wounds to the head. Valeska said Tish Gillis also suffered injuries to at least one of her hands after she attempted to protect herself. She suffered a single gunshot wound behind her ear.
Valeska said after the murder Harrison dragged Junior Gillis from inside his pickup truck and put him in the back. Harrison then drove to a convenience store near his home where Valeska said the defendant bought some beer. After Harrison left the store he crashed the pickup truck into some construction equipment on the roadway.
Valeska said Harrison initially told law enforcement who responded to the crash that he was Gillis, and only admitted his true identity when Henry County Coroner Derek Wright recognized Harrison.
Valeska said Harrison gave investigators four statements, which all included different stories of how the couple died. He claimed in at least two of the stories they died during a drug deal in which he tried unsuccessfully to help them. He claimed two other men gunned them down while they were inside the truck.
But Valeska said the defense will have jurors believe Harrison killed the couple after following the instructions of a voice in his head. He said an expert will testify Harrison was competent to stand trial.
Harrison’s defense lawyer, Aaron Gartlan, told jurors the evidence in the case will show how his client is not guilty because he suffered from a mental disease at the time of the shooting.
“We expect the evidence to show in this particular case the mental disease is psychosis,” Gartlan said. “In this case it’s a loss with reality.”
Gartlan went on to describe to jurors how his client suffered and continues to suffer from psychosis, which can include delusions and hearing voices. Gartlan also said several experts will testify his client received treatment prior to the murders for his psychosis.
“Before these offenses occurred, he was treated at Spectracare,” Gartlan said. “It’s very, very common for people who suffer from psychosis to often abuse drug and alcohol as a self medication.”
September 9, 2003
A newlywed couple who recently moved to rural Henry County because they believed Florida was too violent were shot and killed following a dispute over a travel trailer.
Marvin Junior Gillis, 32, and Tish Ann Glennon Gillis, 19, were found at about 8:30 p.m. Monday in a wrecked pickup truck on Henry County Road 97, said Henry County Sheriff Lawton Ed Armstrong.
Both had been shot in the back of the head with a small-caliber handgun.
“She said everything was so violent down there (in Okeechobee), she didn’t want to raise a family down there,” Marvin Gillis’ brother-in-law, Steve Cox, told The Dothan Eagle for a Wednesday story. “Then this happens.”
Michael David Harrison, 27, who was injured in the wreck, was found by police at the scene and was charged with capital murder after being treated at Dothan Hospital