A Pensacola blogger is reporting that he has a source(s) who “appears to be connected to Byrd Billings…” who are telling him that the murders of Byrd “Bud” Billings and Melanie Billings were a contract hit. See update
8-17-09 10-25-09 below.
Rick Outzen at Ricksblog.biz is said to be from the Pensacola area and a quote from NorthEscambia.com says that Rick is “known” “for very often being correct.”
Outzen says that his sources, who wish to remain anonymous, allege that Patrick Gonzalez, Jr. was paid $20,000 to $50,000 to carry-out the murders, as well as anything they could manage to carry out of the house. The hit is said to be connected to the Billings’ used car auto financing business. Read the entire story, including a trial-run of the robbery after dark one evening at Ricksblog.biz.
A suspect in the Byrd and Melanie Billings murders has reportedly told police that Leonard Patrick Gonzalez, Jr. was the sole shooter in the killings. It appears from that report that it may have been 19-year-old Frederick Thornton who gave the police the information, but it is not entirely clear that the report came from Thornton. Thornton told police that after the murders all the suspects met up at the Magnolia Antique Mall, owned by “Pam” (Pamela Wiggins). Thornton said the safe taken from the Billings home was driven in the get-away van to Wiggins’ red minivan.
Wayne Coldiron, also under arrest for the murders named “Pam” as the driver of a maroon minivan.
Frederick Thornton and Gary Sumner, also under arrest, then got into Sumner’s blue SUV and drove to Wiggins’ antique mall for the meeting.
Update 8-10-09 11:00 pm CDT:
A second safe was found at the Billings home containing $100,000.00. A small safe was taken in the home invasion-robbery-murders and that safe was recovered buried in the backyard of Pamela Long Wiggins.
This report says the suspects now charged with murders knew about the “second safe” but could not get to it, but it is important to note that neither the Sheriff’s office or the Billings’ family attorney are not confirming the safe and the $100,000.00.
Here is how Mr. and Mrs. Billings died with 9 children inside the home at the time:
From Pensacola News Journal:
The documents released Monday reveal:
–Byrd Billings struggled against the five intruders in his home, grabbing one of them by the neck. Two suspects remained outside.
–His body, found in the master bedroom, had six bullet wounds — one in the back of each leg, two in the face and two in the back of the head. A white zip tie was on his left arm.
–Melanie Billings was shot five times — twice in the chest and three times in the face and head. Her body was found in a hallway leading out of the master bedroom.
— A child — one of the couple’s nine adopted children with special needs — said that “bad men” woke his father and told him “You’re gonna die.” He watched as his mother was “shot in her shirt.”
–While intruders drove away with a small portable safe containing only medicine and family jewelry and papers, a second green gun safe with $164,000 in $100 bills sat undisturbed in a second-floor room.
Related and Background: