Donnie Stallworth Found Guilty Of Billings Murders

July 21, 2011

Donnie Stallworth was found guilty Thursday afternoon of two counts of first degree murder for the  2009 deaths of Byrd and Melanie Billings.


It was the third trial for the former Air Force staff sergeant and Brewton native. His first trial ended when the judge declared a mistrial after a jury could not decide his fate during nine hours of deliberations. His second trial came to an end in late April when the jury announced they were deadlocked after two days of deliberations.

Stallworth was accused of being in the home at time of the murders, armed with a gun. The accusations came from two co-defendants, 16-year old Rakeem Florence and 21-year old Fredrick Thorton. Both pleaded not contest to a lessor second degree murder charge in exchange for their testimony.

This time, the case was prosecuted by both Assistant State Attorney John Molchan and State Attorney Bill Eddins.


30 Responses to “Donnie Stallworth Found Guilty Of Billings Murders”

  1. Anita Mann on July 25th, 2011 3:53 pm

    I worked with Donnie Stallworth. He had no shame in what he did. He went and visited family even after the Billings were murdered. Military man or not, he is an adult and knew even robbing someone is wrong. Yes he has kids but so did the Billings. His kids still have their mom…..the Billings kids do not. I feel no sympathy for him. I am just glad he didnt get to smile and say thank you to the police leaving jail like Casey did.

  2. Deb on July 25th, 2011 2:34 pm

    Pray for the family because he is a son, father, and husband.

  3. just saying on July 24th, 2011 8:31 am

    in prison, they don’t get three square meals a day. the state reduced the 2500 calorie meals to 1800 calories per day. they don’t even get the required nutrition per day. they can order commisary, but must pay for it. if they have no money, they either trade or get a loan. prison is what its designed to be. there is tv, but you have it in a room with about 60 other people who will fight and kill, literally, if you want to watch something different than the majority or the strong. there is NO air conditioning or heat. They freeze in the winter and burn up in the summer. when in line for food, if they even look the wrong way, they are tormented by the guards. the guards are not doing anything wrong, but you have to figure that if the guard looks or act weak, someone will take advantage of that. when i read about how someone being in prison gets 3 squares, i see how uninformed they really are. i had a loved one in prison and can tell you, it is rough as is supposed to be. i hated for mine, but he did the crime, so he had to do the time.

  4. Everett on July 24th, 2011 3:56 am

    Maybe one day the real story behind everyone involved will come out. There are no innocent parties here.

  5. Angelia Pope on July 22nd, 2011 12:45 pm

    Our society and justice system is so messed up…. We work harder and spend more money on protecting the guilty then bringing justice for the innocent!! He needs his butt fried! I don’t care if he JUST drove the getaway car. They all had a plan and they all participated in that plan; therefore, he is guility of murder. WHAT ABOUT THE BILLINGS family those kids did nothing to deserve their parents being excuted in the safety of their own home!!!!!!! But yet we want to protect the guilty! Go Figure!

  6. m r on July 22nd, 2011 10:54 am

    Under FL law: (
    “Capital felonies resulting in a life sentence (instead of the death penalty) remained eligible for parole after serving a mandatory 25-year term. Legislative action effective May 24, 1994, and October 1, 1995, effectively eliminated parole for all capital offenses as well.”

    Still not long enough in my opinion.

  7. Bjay on July 22nd, 2011 9:47 am

    Oh please stop it with the Casey Anthony crap. She’s guilty and we all know it but the state blew it! Shes not the first to beat a charge and she wont be the last. MOVE ON! Now back to THIS article. I also dont understand how being there and actually pulling the trigger can be looked at the same, but it is the law and I support our judicial system fully. If the powers that be say its the same then Ill go with it. Either way this punk is going to prison for a long time. Justice has prevailed without jeopardizing the system. I say way to hang in there and get a conviction. Everybodys so negative on here sometimes. lol

  8. Darius Longmeyer on July 22nd, 2011 9:04 am

    That is right . Once someone is aquitted, they cannot be retried for anything having to do with that incident. That is what is called “Double Jepordy”
    Many times some thug would laugh about being aquitted.
    Bella Vita
    OBTW……It was no accident, Casey Anthony knew that a person by that name once lived in that apartment complex.

  9. David Huie Green on July 22nd, 2011 8:41 am

    “Well lets try Casey Anthony again.”

    With very few exceptions such as jury tampering, when a jury reaches a “not guilty” verdict, that’s the end of it. A “guilty” verdict can be appealed because that’s written into the Constitution but not a “not guilty”.

    Even if a person confesses after the jury acquits, the criminal law can’t touch them. (Civil law applies separately which is why the lady Casey accidentally accused of having her daughter can sue and is. I think she just made up the name on that one.)

    In this case, two juries couldn’t reach a decision for whatever reason. The third one did decide. Their decision is listed above.

    David for juries

  10. Polythenepam on July 22nd, 2011 8:19 am

    Well lets try Casey Anthony again. That jury surely needs to be re-picked…….

  11. Darius Longmeyer on July 22nd, 2011 7:20 am

    Concerning the first two trials;
    It may be that some of those jurors don’t think that he should not be subjected to the same punishment as the shooter (as some of you believe). But the law says that he is just as guilty. I have recently served on a jury. I can tell you that there are jurors that do not want to do their job and leave the sentencing to the judge. I think this is the reason for the hung jurys and mistrials.

  12. LynchMob on July 22nd, 2011 6:28 am

    Got rope?

  13. NoCrime?? on July 21st, 2011 10:19 pm

    It is all about the jury. A hung jury means they couldn’t agree on the charges. If one thought he was innocent while the other 11 thought he was guilty then it is a hung jury. Some judges would send them back to deliberate longer. It happens alot. Some juries work well together and talk thru the evidence and agree on the conviction.

    I would venture to say that most people who cry foul have never been on a jury trial. The charges are defined as to what the state is seeking and the perimeters are defined as to what classifies the evidence to meet these charges. And it has to be beyond reasonable doubt.

    There was sufficient evidence and he will remain in prison. I hate it for him. Maybe he won’t make hasty decisions in prison

  14. FLA GIRL on July 21st, 2011 9:55 pm

    This man went into a house in broad daylight that was home to all those handicapped children, and he went in with a gun. Any scumbag that decides to take a loaded weapon into a home full of children with the intent to rob them deserves punishment to the full extent. He and his cohorts traumatized those poor kids forever…even if he did not pull the trigger to kill the parents right in front of their children, he was part of the gang that PLANNED to commit this crime knowing it could go wrong. That is a chance you take when you plot or pre-meditate to commit a crime. You may get killed, you may get caught and punished, you may end up killing someone. Anyone who plans this sort of crime knows that these things can happen. He took the gamble. I dont feel sorry for him at all. If these thugs had come into your home in front of your children and traumatized them this way, I do believe you would want this guy to pay dearly. May God have mercy on his soul. Also pray for that poor family.

  15. micbee on July 21st, 2011 9:18 pm

    If he was found guilty(after 3 trials) why wasn’t Casey Anthony found guilty?

  16. NoCrime?? on July 21st, 2011 8:42 pm

    He hasn’t been sentenced yet. He will probably get life so he will be eligible for parole in “X” number of years. I hate it for his family but I dont think there is anyone who doesn’t believe he was in the house. I think everyone would agree that he had a gun. If you have a gun then there was intent to do harm (or why else would you carry the gun?). Some could argue that he would have never pulled the trigger but if he was dumb enough to even be a part of this crime then he was dumb enough to pull the trigger if something went wrong.

    The old saying is “you are only as good as the dogs you lay with.” Well, innocent people were killed and they tried to cover it up. He was there while the felony was committed. It was a premed robbery and then things didnt go as planned. He planned the robbery ………. I guess he forgot the part that he might actually get caught. 1st degree murder fits to me.

  17. molino jim on July 21st, 2011 8:38 pm

    whatashame: read about why the first two cases did not end all of this. Case 1-hung jury–one (1) woman didn’t “feel that a man in the military could do such a thing”. With a hung jury you can be retried. Case 2–a mistrial was declared. The judge felt something was said or done in the presents of the jury that was not allowable. Same as #1–he could be tried again. No new evidence had to be brought in. The jury found him guilty Nothing smells in this. It’s happen before and will happen again.

  18. whatashame on July 21st, 2011 7:57 pm

    I agree with Polythenepam….they didnt have enough proof to convict the 1st 2 times but suddenly they did this time???? This trial went way to fast and was set up to be so. Perhaps he didnt take the plea because he knew he was NOTguilty of murder!! He might be guilty of something but murder he is not. There was no justice today for Mr. Stallworth and his family.
    Casey Anthony walks yet this man will spend the rest of his life behind bars….so terribly dispointed by the justice system.

  19. whitepunknotondope on July 21st, 2011 7:29 pm

    “I would like to know how you convict someone with that kind of charge when they did not kill anyone.”

    For all of you sympathetic, rehabilitation-believing liberals, let me make this clear:

    you run with the devil, you get burned.

  20. David on July 21st, 2011 5:45 pm

    When are they gonna get around to the grinning, piece of crap Pamela Long?

  21. LynchMob on July 21st, 2011 5:20 pm

    You folks have some studying to do. As Mr. Longmeyer stated, when you choose to commit a felony and someone dies in the commission of said felony, you are considered responsible (regardless if you knew what was going to happen or not).

    These animals deserve to be treated like animals. Unfortunately, they will be cooked 3 square meals a day, housed at our expense and allowed to see their loved ones. The same can not be said for Mr. and Mrs. Billings.

  22. Hangemhigh on July 21st, 2011 5:17 pm

    He had every opportunity to do the right thing and plea bargain. He chose to roll the dice and take the cowards way out. It did not pay off. Rot in hell.

  23. Polythenepam on July 21st, 2011 5:09 pm

    Well didn’t you realize that if they kept trying him eventually they would get 12 jurors that were all in favor of calling him guilty. Sounds like a crock to me, are we really going to keep going till we find him guilty because thats what the judge and lawyers want? Guess so……… This isn’t justice.!!!

  24. Stephen on July 21st, 2011 5:04 pm

    State statute says that if you are involved ie driver, carrying out stolen goods for example then you are just as guilty as the person who did the killings. Don’t like the law move to a state that doesn’t have it.

  25. JIM W on July 21st, 2011 4:53 pm

    I would like to know how you convict someone with that kind of charge when they did not kill anyone. There is no doubt he was there the way it has been told in the news. But I do not think he killed anyone. Accessory maybe but not what he has been convicted of. Like what @ Not again said something is rotten in Denmark here. He needs to pay for his crime of being a part of this but not this way. Do it correctly I do not think this was right. Just my opinion.

  26. Hmmm on July 21st, 2011 4:51 pm

    I have to say I’m perplexed.

    While I certainly believe that Mr. Stallworth is guilty of being an accessory to murder, and of armed robbery I don’t buy first degree murder. There is proof that he was not the one who killed the Billings’s, and there is no proof whatsoever that he knew they were going to be killed. How does that equate to him being guilty of First Degree Murder?

    I’m also surprised that the jury came to this conclusion so quickly.

  27. Miltonboy on July 21st, 2011 4:51 pm

    NotAgain: The article says he was in the house with a gun.

  28. Darius Longmeyer on July 21st, 2011 4:50 pm

    First degree murder can be either premeditated murder, or felony murder. e.i. when someone is killed as a result of, or during the commission of a felony. Like buglarizing an occupied building or armed robery. Check out Florida law concerning getaway drivers. All parties are guilty of the greater offence.

  29. NotAgain on July 21st, 2011 4:36 pm

    How can you find someone guilty of first degree (premeditated) murder, when they were actually an accessory to the crime and killed no one? Wasn’t Mr Stallworth the getaway driver? Something’s rotten in the state of Denmark here.

  30. tamijane on July 21st, 2011 3:57 pm

    Finally justice! I hope that they can RIP now.

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