Grand jury capital murder indictments for six adult men and a male teenager were handed down yesterday in the deaths of Byrd and Melanie Billings, the Beulah, Florida couple murdered on July 9th. See update below
Two counts of capital murder were leveled, and one count of home invasion robbery for each of the suspects. The six adults are (pictured below from left to right) Leonard Patrick Gonzalez, Sr., Leonard Patrick “Poff” Gonzalez, Sr., Wayne Coldiron, Gary Lamont Sumner, Frederick Thornton, and Donald [Donnie] Ray Stallworth. The charge of “capital murder” allows these six men to face the death penalty. Rakeem Florence, 16, is the teenager charged, and the last male in the photograph. Florence will be tried in adult court. Originally, reports were that Florence would not be subject to a possible death penalty but WKRG.com in Pensacola is saying that it is a possibility for the teenager.
In the state graphic above, the reddish-orangish states represent those with those allowing executions since 1976, the blue states have no current death penalty statute, the gold states have declared the death penalty unconstitutional, and the green states have performed no executions since 1976.
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.
Patrick Poff Gonzalez Whack Bud Billings? Gonzalez Implicates MS-13.
Another Update from 8-17-09:
Gonzalez has been tied to Pamela Long Malden Wiggins’ husband Hugh:
Hugh Wiggins is Pamela Long Wiggins Husband, Patrick Poff Gonzalez Friend?
Hugh Wiggins, the husband of bigamist Pamela Long Wiggins, has been named a person of interest in the Billings murders by Sheriff David Morgan. Read what Hugh knew: Hugh Wiggins Immunity in Byrd Melanie Billings Murders.
NOTE: All major updates are first added to my original post on the Billings murders, and then added to other relevant articles in the case.
As of 8-18-09, there is new information on this post. You can access the original here.
Related and Background: