MODESTO -- A deputy testified in court today that he walked into what looked like a horror story inside a Denair home as a mother and father lay bleeding at a hallway's end while their teenage daughter was nude and motionless in a bathtub overflowing with water.
"There was blood everywhere," Stanislaus County sheriff's deputy Nathan Malone testified. "There was blood splattered all over the walls in the hallway."
It was about 8:15 p.m. on Sunday May 8, 2011. It was Mother's Day.
Malone was called to the home in the 3000 block of Salluce Drive in Denair for a report of a stabbing. The deputy found Shanna Wills in the bathtub and her parents seriously injured in the hallway.
Wills was startled out of her motionless state as the deputy grabbed her arm, trying to pull her out of the tub. That's when she started blurting out statements, her emotions changing rapidly.
Malone said Wills told him, "Jesus didn't want her to get out of the tub, because she wasn't done washing off all of her sins."
The powerful testimony was the first in a preliminary hearing for Wills, 18, who is accused of fatally stabbing her father and attacking her mother. The defendant has been charged with murder, attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon in the death of her father, Kenneth Wills, 62, and the attack on her mother, Susan Wills.
Their daughter was 17 when the incident occurred, but she is being prosecuted as an adult.
The defendant's mother also testified today, describing the bizarre details of what she encountered in the moments before she and her husband were attacked.
Susan Wills was asked to point to her daughter in the courtroom. At that moment, Shanna Wills wiped away tears from her face with a crumpled tissue. She continued to reach for tissue box in front of her as her mother resumed her testimony.
Susan Wills said she arrived at their home about 6:30 p.m. after working a day shift at Delta Blood Bank in Modesto. She found two small neighbor children running out of the house and, inside, she discoverd that the floors were littered with rose petals of all colors.
There were also petals in the kitchen, where all the drinking glasses on the shelves were filled with water, a few of them with rose stems. The house appeared to have been decorated by her daughter with help from the neighbor children.
On the kitchen table, there was bowl with tangerines floating inside, a bowl with chili and chunks of cheese, and vase with more rose stems. She saw her daughter running around and waving her arms.
She testified her daughter told her, "Oh, don't you just love it. Happy Mother's Day."
"I was kind of shocked and puzzled," Susan Wills said about her daughter and the decorations. Upset at what she found, she went into her bedroom to change into some pajama-type clothes. The attack would happen shortly after.