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Teen suspect denies murder charge
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In a courtroom filled with family, friends, media and general onlookers, 17-year-old Shanna Wills entered a not guilty plea Wednesday to the charges she murdered her father and attacked her mother.

Surrounded by three bailiffs and shackled in chains, the petite blond gave her not guilty plea in a voice just above a whisper and denied the enhancements of using a deadly weapon.

The 17-year-old was arrested May 8 after Stanislaus County Sheriff’s deputies found her father, 62-year-old Kenneth Wills dead in the Denair home and her mother, Susan Wills, 61, severely wounded.

Outside the courtroom, Shanna Wills’ defense attorney Greg Spiering said his client was in a better state of mind than the day of her initial court appearance — May 10 — two days after her arrest.

“She’s starting to reconstitute after the immense stress and dislocation,” Spiering said.

Spiering said he has met with Shanna Wills a couple of times at Juvenile Hall and has just begun to go through the reports detailing the incident. As such, he said he didn’t know yet what kind of defense he would pursue, but did state that when evidence about the relationship between Shanna Wills and her parents is presented, some will find it “shocking.”

Several individuals have stated Shanna Wills’ relationship with her parents had become volatile in the weeks leading up to the attack.

With few details about the case released, the gossip has been churning out at a rapid pace. From allegations of abuse to stories of a tormented teen, people have been speculating on their blogs and social networking sites about what may have happened in the Salluce Drive home and it is taking an emotional toll on the grieving family. Kristy Duncan, the couple’s eldest daughter and Myron Wills, the brother of Kenneth Wills, both expressed to the Journal how the family has been hurt by the rumor mongering and denied the allegations of abuse.

“There was never, never ever any abuse in that family — mental, physical or sexual — never,” Duncan said.

To contact Sabra Stafford, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2002.