One of the people accused of killing a woman and dumping her body in a well in 2019 was convicted of murder in Tuscaloosa Wednesday afternoon.

Tuscaloosa County District Attorney Hays Webb said the trial of Tyler Battles, which began Tuesday morning, moved quickly and a jury found the 31-year-old McCalla man guilty Wednesday afternoon.

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Battles is one of four people charged with the brutal July 2019 murder of Willoe Watkins, who was beaten and strangled to death when she was 20 years old. Her body was then hidden at the bottom of a well in a rural area of Tuscaloosa County.

After a member of Battles' family tipped police off to the location of the body, investigators excavated the well and recovered Watkins' corpse.

Police eventually arrested Tyler Battles and his wife Monic Battles as well as Joseph Nevels and Devin Hall in connection to the killing. All four were charged with murder, and the three men were charged with abuse of a corpse.

Investigators later said Nevels attacked Watkins over a missing cellphone he believed she had stolen months before and the rest of the group joined in, beating her with a shotgun and baseball bat. Hall also allegedly strangled her with a cord.

Webb said Hall accepted a deal from the DA's office and pleaded guilty to murder in exchange for a 30-year prison sentence.

Monic Battles and Nevels are still awaiting trial.

Judge James Roberts, Jr. will hold a sentencing hearing for Tyler Battles at a later date. Stay connected to the Tuscaloosa Thread for more details as they become available.

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