Stallworth held with no bond
Published 10:17 pm Monday, August 3, 2009
from staff reports
A judge in Florida ordered Donald Ray Stallworth Jr. held without bond Wednesday, a day after the Brewton native was transferred from the jail in his hometown to the county where he will await a trial on murder charges.
Stallworth is one of seven people charged with murder in the shooting deaths of Byrd and Melanie Billings, a Pensacola-area couple known for adopting 13 special needs children.
Stallworth turned himself in to authorities in Brewton July 13, five days after police discovered the Billingses dead in their Beulah, Fla., home, the victims of an apparent home invasion.
Stallworth’s attorney David White has said his client will plead not guilty.
Stallworth, a U.S. Air Force staff sergeant assigned to an aircraft maintenance detail with the Special Forces, is a 1999 graduate of T.R. Miller High School.
Stallworth originally fought extradition to Florida.
At an evidentiary hearing to determine whether he could be held in jail in Brewton, a Florida sheriff’s investigator testified that another suspect in the case, Wayne Coldiron, identified Stallworth as one of the people who entered the Billings home with a gun.
Coldiron also said Stallworth left the house with a small safe later recovered at the home of another suspect.
According to court documents released in the case, other suspects have pointed to alleged mastermind Patrick Gonzales Jr. as the only shooter in the case.
Seven suspects have been charged with murder, including a 16-year-old. An eighth suspect, Pamela Long Wiggins, has been charged with accessory after the fact.