North Santa Rosa

Convictions upheld in Billings Case

State Attorney Bill Eddins announced today that in an unanimous opinion the Florida

Supreme Court has upheld both the convictions and sentences imposed on Leonard

Patrick Gonzalez, Jr. Gonzalez was convicted of two counts of first degree murder and

one count of home invasion robbery with a firearm and received corresponding sentences

on those charges of death and life in prison. These charges arose from the shooting

deaths of Byrd and Melanie Billings in their Escambia County home on July 9, 2009.

On February 17, 2011 Judge Nicholas Geeker followed the jury’s recommendation and

sentenced Gonzalez to death for both murders. In imposing the death sentence, Judge

Geeker found as aggravating factors that Gonzalez had a conviction for a prior violent

felony, that the murder was committed during the course of a robbery/pecuniary gain, and

that the murders were heinous, atrocious, and cruel. In upholding the conviction, the

Supreme Court found that the convictions were supported by competent, substantial


Posted by on Apr 11 2014. Filed under Crime. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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