Discussion in 'Byrd and Melanie Billings' started by Tom'sGirl, Jul 21, 2009.
Fredrick Thornton, Billings Family Agree to Plea Deal
"The state agreed to take both the death penalty and a mandatory life sentence off the table for 19-year-old Frederick Thornton in return for his testimony."
"The seven other suspects arrested in the case will be in court in a few weeks: Donnie Stallworth, Jr., Wayne Coldiron, Leonard Gonzalez, Sr., Leonard Gonzalez, Jr., Gary Sumner, Rakeem Florence and Pamela Wiggins are all scheduled to go before a judge on March 10. Their trials are set to begin March 15th."
"Sheriff Morgan said there are three persons of interest but would not identify them. He did say none of their arrests are imminent."
More fallout from the Billings case
Mark O'Brien • January 29, 2010
Frederick Thornton Jr. did the right thing, agreeing Thursday to become a government witness in order to evade a possible death sentence and get out of jail before he's an old, old man.
As part of the deal, Thornton will testify about what happened inside the Beulah home of Byrd and Melanie Billings on July 9, the evening they were gunned down even as they cooperated with robbers.
Thornton's no-contest plea to second-degree murder charges still could net him a life sentence, but State Attorney Bill Eddins will put in a good word with the judge if Thornton cooperates.
Long Wiggins short on money
Posted 1/29/2010 11:25 AM EST on pnj.com Prod
Pam Long Wiggins has a private attorney, but her mother is on the hook for the estimated $20,000 legal fee.
In documents in her court record, Long Wiggins said her mother, Doris Long, would be responsible for paying defense attorney Patrece Cashwell.
Long Wiggins said she has $120,000 in debts and will have to file for bankruptcy.
Man who took plea in Billings case moved to Santa Rosa jail
A suspect who has agreed to testify against his alleged accomplices in a high profile homicide case has been moved from Escambia County Jail to Santa Rosa County Jail for safety reasons.
Attorney: Drop Long Wiggins' bigamy charge
Long Wiggins back in news, but not for Billings case
Pamela Long Wiggins may have said one "I do" too many, but her attorney says she still shouldn't have been charged with bigamy.
In a motion to dismiss the charge against her, defense attorney Bruce Miller offers the argument that Florida law prevented Long Wiggins from marrying a second man while she was married to the first.
So, he's arguing, bigamy is actually legally impossible.
On March 9, Circuit Judge John Brown in Okaloosa County will consider a novel motion from Miller that claims the state filed an erroneous bigamy charge.
From Pensacola News Journal Columnist, Mark O'Brien's Blog: 04/02/2010
Water bill tapped Gonzalez
"Investigators for the Escambia County Sheriff's Office were trying to find Patrick Gonzalez Jr., the key figure in the slayings of a Beulah couple, Byrd and Melanie Billings.
"I said, 'Find out where he pays for water,'" Investigator Lee Tyree recalled.
Sure enough, a check of water bills -- which are public record -- showed Gonzalez's address of Palm Court in Brent. Officers soon had him in custody.
My column on Monday will have a detailed report of testimony by Frederick Thornton Jr., who has turned state's evidence against his co-defendants for the slayings of Byrd and Melanie Billings. Thorrnton's testimony was his first public account of the July 9 assault."
At first, Frederick Thornton Jr. said he had nothing to do with the attack on Melanie and Byrd Billings. He claimed he stayed outside their Beulah house, that he went there for a deal for some marijuana and didn't know that two people would be gunned down inside.
But then he told all, explaining that "my conscience" made him confess that he entered the house with a gun in his hand, although he didn't shoot anyone.
"snip"........WEAR 3 NEWS TOP STORIES VIDEO
...Nineteen-year-old Frederick Thornton has worked out a plea deal with the state attorney. They've agreed to spare his life. In exchange, he agreed to tell them everything he knew.
We spent several hours Wednesday going through a lengthy interview Thornton gave back in February. He started off by saying the Billings home was not the first the group planned to rob.
(snip) WEAR 3 NEWS TOP STORIES VIDEO
More information tonight from the videotaped confession of Freddy Thornton....He says the group's leader, Patrick Gonzalez, Jr., claimed someone close to the family would turn off the security system.
They knew the floor plan of the house, and even discussed who would enter which door.
<snip>The youngest suspect in the murders of Byrd and Melanie Billings entered a plea as part of a deal that will see him testify against his co-defendants. Rakeem Florence, 17, is the second of the seven defendants in the July 9 double murder who agreed to testify against the others. </snip>
Jury selection is expected to begin Monday in the bigamy case against a woman also charged in connection to the murders of Byrd and Melanie Billings.
Pamela Long Wiggins, 48, faces up to five years in state prison on a charge that she married a man in Florida while still married to a man in Alabama.
SHALIMAR — Pamela Long Wiggins, who faces accessory to murder charges in Escambia County, was brought to Okaloosa County today to offer a plea to the charge of bigamy.
Long Wiggins, who has been implicated as an accomplice in the July 9 murders of Byrd and Melanie Billings, changed her not guilty plea to a plea of no contest.
Asked if she believed the plea to be in her best interest, Long Wiggins answered “it seems to be.”
Circuit Court Judge John Brown ordered a pre-sentencing investigation and scheduled the sentencing for 9 a.m. June 30.
Long Wiggins, 48, of Gulf Breeze, faces a maximum sentence of five years on the charge and a $5,000 fine.
This is basically the same article as the one I posted above, but has a current pic. of PLW:
http://ricksblog.biz/?p=11074 Posted June 20, 2010
"I [Rick Outzen of Independent News] will be on TLC tonight for a show about the Billings murders 9 pm Central; 10 pm Eastern.
Home Invasion Murders: The Billings and The Petits
TV-PG (SV), CC"
Per TLC, this will re-air 6/23 7pm (eastern I believe).
(snipped) One of the suspects in the Billings murder case will be sentenced this week on Bigamy Charges.
''snip" Today, Wiggins was sentenced to two years probation for Bigamy.
Long Wiggins gets probation for bigamy
Woman still faces trial in Billings murder case
by Kris Wernowsky email@example.com July 1, 2010
"A judge on Wednesday sentenced Pamela Long Wiggins to two years' probation for her simultaneous marriage to two men.
Circuit Judge John Brown's sentence for Long Wiggins the only woman charged with a crime in the 2009 deaths of Byrd and Melanie Billings includes that she be evaluated and treated for substance abuse."
emphasis added by me
Where is Bud Billings' Money?
by Rick Outzen
That question remains unanswered a year after the grisly murders of the Beulah couple
Andrea McDermott laughed when she saw my shocked reaction to her statement.
She and I were talking about the murder of Melanie Billings, her best friend since high school. After nearly a year of holding back her frustrations with the investigation of the home invasion and murders of Melanie and Byrd "Bud" Billings, McDermott agreed to be interviewed.