Billy, new district attorney

Published 2:53 pm Wednesday, January 26, 2005

By By LYDIA GRIMES Features Reporter
Escambia County has a new district attorney. Steve Billy was sworn in to succeed Mike Godwin on Thursday, Jan. 20, 2005, before a large group of friends and co-workers.
With office staff and assistants the district attorney's office employes 16 people. Each of them have their own responsibilities.
Billy was born in Fort Walton Beach, the youngest son of Joe and Ruth Billy. He has an older brother, Mack. At the time of his birth the family was living in Fort Walton where his father ran a grocery store. When he was a small child the family moved back to Brewton when his grandfather got sick and his father was needed to run the family business.
Billy attended school in Brewton and graduated from T.R. Miller High School in 1975. He said he was an average student when he was pushed, but he found a lot of distractions. He played sports but he said he was too heavy when he was a small boy. He said that Dr. Phillipi called him "generally robust." He also played trombone in the band while he was in high school.
After graduation from high school he attended Jefferson Davis Junior College for a couple of years before going to Auburn University in 1977 and then the University of Alabama.
While in school he worked at a flower shop and liked it pretty well. In 1983 he came back to Brewton and opened his own flower shop, The Flower Box, for the next 10 years.
During this time he decided to go back to school. He enrolled at Faulkner University in Montgomery for his undergraduate studies.
He sold the flower shop while he was in law school and sold insurance for a while. He graduated from law school in 1997 and started looking for a job.
He took the bar exam and passed in 1998. He continued to work in the district attorney's office. About the same time the office had received a domestic violence grant. He was given the job of being the prosecutor for that department.
Billy met Beth Pebbles while he was at the University of Alabama. They were married in 1984. In 1990 they had twins, Joseph and Stephen, and their daughter, Laurel, was born in 1995. In 2000 they had another son, Matthew, who was diagnosed with AML at the age of nine weeks. Over the next few months the family spent a lot of time at the hospital in Birmingham with the baby. Matthew died in 2001 at the age of 14 months.
Beth Billy works in administration at Jefferson Davis Community College. The children are attending school in the city school system. The boys are very interested in drama and have been in several productions.
Billy said that he doesn't have much time to do it, but he enjoys working around the house and considers himself a "wood butcher," not a carpenter.