Liscia Willis allegedly began moving her belongings into her father's home after his death

By Rachel DeSantis
December 24, 2019 11:25 AM
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Liscia Willis
Credit: Hamilton County Justice Center

An Ohio woman charged with her father’s murder stabbed him to death in order to move in to his home, according to police.

Liscia Willis was arrested on Saturday after her father, James Lee Dunlap, 69, was found fatally stabbed in the basement of his Forest Park home on Friday, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported.

His wife was out of town at the time, and police found his body after responding to a wellness check called in by a family member, Sgt. David DeSalvo of the Forest Park Police Department told the outlet.

Willis, 49, allegedly “began moving her belongings into the residence” shortly after Dunlap’s death, according to a police affidavit obtained by ABC affiliate WCPO.

Police Officer James Lee “Skip” Dunlap
James Dunlap
| Credit: Greater Cincinnati Police Museum

Police say they believe Willis’ plan was to kill her father, a retired cop, then take over his mortgage, the Enquirer reported.

She was charged with aggravated murder, and is being held in the Hamilton County Justice Center on a $1 million bond, online records show.

Willis’ attorney Clyde Bennett II hit back at the allegations facing his client, telling the Enquirer that Dunlap’s house did not have a mortgage and that she occasionally stayed at the home.

Bennett, who did not immediately return PEOPLE’s request for comment, also said that the belongings she brought to the home were “personal items” and not furniture, and that Willis would not have a mental competency hearing.

“You have a woman who’s a pretty good woman for 49 years of her life,” he told CBS/CW affiliate WKRC. “And all of a sudden they claim she just woke up and took a knife and started stabbing her father. That’s asinine to me and doesn’t make sense.”

Dunlap, who was known as “Skip,” was a U.S. Army veteran and a longtime police officer in Cincinnati, according to an obituary from the Greater Cincinnati Police Museum.

He retired in 2002 after spending nearly 30 years on the force, and in recent years served as a Community Relations Monitor in an experimental program by the Cincinnati Human Relations Commission.

“We are deeply saddened by the death of retired Police Officer James Lee ‘Skip’ Dunlap. Skip was a tremendous police officer and a beloved member of our Department. His death is a true tragedy and we are all mourning his loss. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family at this difficult time,” Cincinnati Police Chief Elliot Isaac said, according to Fox affiliate WXIX.

Willis’ case will go before a grand jury on Dec. 31, online records show.

A spokesperson for the Forest Park Police Department did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.