Teenager accused of killing his mother
The 17-year-old boy accused of fatally shooting his mother in Walker allegedly had been beaten by her in California, where his father was convicted of hitting the mother and endangering his son, court records show.
Walker police believe Eddie Robert Island III used a sawed-off shotgun to shoot his mother, Tamila Wooley, 34, at their home in a gated community between late Dec. 29 and early Dec. 30, and left her body there for at least two days.
Island visited the home several times after his mother’s death to feed his two half-siblings still inside the residence, telling them their mother was sick and resting, police said.
Court documents in California paint a picture of a troubled family.
In June 2009, Regina Williamson — the mother of Wooley and grandmother of Island — filed a petition in San Bernardino County Superior Court to obtain guardianship of the boy.
Williamson’s petition alleges Island, then 12, was “being physically and mentally abused by his natural mother and the child no longer wants to live with her.”
Williamson “can provide a caring and loving home for him,” the petition says. “He can have the opportunity to develop into a normal human being.”
Williamson dropped the petition about a month later, but the court case illustrates the possibly fractured and tumultuous relationship Island and Wooley had, at least on the West Coast.
Island lived with Wooley in Victorville, Calif., from 2002 to May 2009, when he began living with Williamson in Colton, Calif. Whether Island continued to live with Williamson after the guardianship petition was dropped is not clear.
Williamson’s petition for guardianship says Wooley agreed Williamson was fit to become Island’s guardian, but that agreement is indicated only by a check mark in a box. Wooley’s signature is nowhere to be found on the petition.
The petition also says Island’s father, Eddie Robert Island Jr., was in and out of jail and was not involved in his son’s life.
At the time the petition was filed, the father was housed in the California Institution for Men, a penitentiary in nearby Chino. Island Jr. has numerous drug and weapons convictions in San Bernardino County.
San Bernardino County court records show the father was arrested on Jan. 4, 1998, by San Bernardino police on counts of corporal injury to a spouse, Wooley, as well as a count of willful cruelty to his son, who was 1 at the time.
A misdemeanor complaint filed against the elder Island says he “did willfully cause and permit the person and health of said child to be injured, and did willfully cause and permit said child to be placed in such a situation that its person and health may be endangered.”
The complaint does not say whether the elder Island actually struck his son.
Island Jr. pleaded no contest and was sentenced to 36 months of probation, including no contact with Wooley.
Court records also show the father was arrested on Nov. 14, 1999, on a count of corporal injury to a spouse after he allegedly hit Wooley again.
Island Jr. pleaded guilty and was again sentenced to 36 months of probation, which included anger management classes.
Wooley and Island III moved from California to Livingston Parish about two years ago, Walker police said. Why they moved — and moved so far away — is unclear.
Williamson declined comment when reached by phone earlier, and she did not return phone calls Thursday for comment.
Police believe one of Island’s issues with his mother was his desire to move back to California.
Island and Wooley would periodically get into arguments, but none of those arguments ever escalated enough to require involvement from Walker police. Island showed no signs of physical abuse when arrested.
Shonda Boudet, Wooley’s boss at Always Best Care Senior Services in Baton Rouge, described Wooley as a kind and gentle soul beloved by the elderly clients for whom she cared.
Boudet also said Wooley had trouble controlling her 17-year-old son and was “at her wits’ end” with him.
Janson Singh, a friend of Island’s from Denham Springs, said Island told him Wooley would not let him leave his home, though he did run away one time.
Singh said Island told him Wooley would abuse him, but Island also had a tattoo of his mother’s name on his chest.
Walker police found Wooley’s body about noon on New Year’s Day at her Village Drive town home in the Village Maison gated community off Walker South Road. Island was booked into the Livingston Parish Detention Center the next day on a count of second-degree murder.
Island remained jailed without bail as of Thursday. No court date appears to have been set.