Stallworth pleads not guilty

Published 12:06 am Monday, August 17, 2009

By Staff
from staff reports
A Brewton native charged in the double murder of a Beaulah, Fla., couple pleaded not guilty last week, along with six other defendants in the case.
Donnie Ray Stallworth Jr., 28, a Brewton native, has been charged in connection with the July 9 shooting deaths of Byrd and Melanie Billings, a couple well-known in their community near Pensacola for adopting 13 special needs children.
Police have said nine of those children were at their home with the couple when a group of men dressed in black clothing and masks entered the home with guns.
One defendant in the case told police that Stallworth took a small safe from the home.
Other defendants have identified Leonard Patrick Gonzales, 35, as the shooter in the incident, according to reports.
A Florida grand jury last week indicted Stallworth and the six other defendants with two counts of first-degree murder and one count of home invasion.
An eighth suspect, Pamela Long Wiggins, has been indicted on a charge of accessory after the fact to first-degree murder. She is scheduled to be arraigned on Monday. The Pensacola News-Journal has reported that prosecutors will seek a higher bond for Wiggins, who has been free on $10,000 bond since her arrest.
In other news, Escambia County, Fla., Sheriff David Morgan has called former Brewton car dealer Henry Cabell “Cab” Tice a “person of interest” in the case.
Tice has been charged with grand theft in connection with writing bad checks to Worldco Financial Services, a company owned by the Billings family.