Top Ten Videos to watch

crime scene
Studio Portrait of Two Young Women Back to Back, One With a Tattoo
Mamie Till and Emmett Till
GOP Redistricting Plot To Unseat Rep. Corrine Brown Exposed
Protests Break Out In Charlotte After Police Shooting
'Keep the Vote Alive!' March Commemorates Civil Rights Act
White man shooting
Gun Violence Continues To Plague Chicago, Over 1,000 Shootings For Year To Date
HS Football
Gun Violence Continues To Plague Chicago, Over 1,000 Shootings For Year To Date
Police Line
2016 Republican National Convention
44th NAACP Image Awards - Show
MD Primary
Premiere Of OWN's 'Queen Sugar' - Arrivals
Democratic National Convention
Los Angeles Rams v San Francisco 49ers
Protesters Demonstrate Against Donald Trump's Visit To Flint Michigan
President Obama Speaks On The Economy In Brady Press Briefing Room
Lil Wayne
Construction Continues On The National Museum of African American History To Open In 2016
Preacher Preaching the Gospel
Hillary Clinton Campaigns In Louisville, Kentucky
Miami Dolphins v Seattle Seahawks
Leave a comment

PENSACOLA, Fla. — A judge sentenced a former karate instructor to death on Thursday for leading a group of men dressed like ninjas to kill a wealthy Florida couple while their special-needs children slept or cowered nearby.

A jury had recommended in October that Patrick Gonzalez Jr. be executed, but a judge must impose death sentences under Florida law.

“I didn’t do it,” Patrick Gonzalez Jr. said after Judge Nickolas Geeker read the findings that led him to affirm the jury’s recommendation.

Geeker said he supported a sentence of death for Gonzalez because he “was clearly the ringleader and the person who directed the other defendants” to the 2009 killings of Byrd and Melanie Billings.

The judge said evidence in the double-murder and home invasion trial showed that the couple died in terror and likely feared the men would also execute the young children in the home.

“They would have assumed their minor children would not have been left behind as witnesses,” Geeker said.

The Billingses had nine adopted children between the ages of 5 and 12, all with special needs including fetal alcohol syndrome and autism.

Billings family members sobbed as Geeker recounted details of the crime during the sentencing.

The couple’s adult daughter who is raising the nine younger children later praised the death sentence.

“We witnessed the legal system working the way it was intended to,” Ashley Markham said.

Prosecutors said Gonzalez was motivated by his believe that the Billings had millions in cash in a safe at the west Escambia County home.

The men took an unopened safe from the home that contained nothing of value, but a second safe that wasn’t stolen had $164,000 in cash, court records show.

Gonzalez is the only defendant to face the death penalty in the case. Two others testified against Gonzalez. Trials of the participants are ongoing.


Man Charged With Trying To Decapitate Man And Raping His 11-Year-Old Son

Woman Bound During Robbery Texts “Help” With Toes

Also On News One:
comments – Add Yours