Life sentence handed down in death of code enforcement officer
MATHESON COURTHOUSE – A West Valley City man who pleaded guilty to the death of a code enforcement officer has been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. The victim’s family says the sentence is not enough, but it will have to do.
Kevin Wayne Billings was arrested in August 2018 after the shooting death of Jill Robinson. Billings was also sentenced for setting Robinson’s truck on fire, as well as a neighbor’s home.
There was scathing, tearful testimony from friends and family members of Robinson. Her mother, Ronny Robinson, got choked up as she remembers feeling a prompting to call her daughter the night before she was killed. She testified that she shrugged it off, thinking she would call the next day. However, that day never came.
“She was kind. She was loving. She loved crafts. She loved holidays,” she said.
Other family members, like sister Julie Robinson, say they have no room in their hearts to forgive Billings. Her last words to him were, “Live in your misery. I’m done with you.”
”For this, I have to wash my hands and say, ‘God, this is for you and you alone to bear. I cannot bear it anymore and my heart is empty,’” Julie Robinson said in court.
Coworkers say things have become more tense and potentially dangerous for them. Some code enforcement officers say there has been an increase in aggressive people confronting them when they try to enforce city ordinances.
One man said, “Jill was my mentor and my teacher. It’s not fair that she can’t be with us today. All [Billings] had to do was just pick up his garbage.”
Outside of the courtroom, Robinsons’s daughter, Jessica Knorr, said she would have preferred the death penalty for Billings. She believes things would have been different had her mother been allowed to carry a weapon.
“I wish he gave my mom a fighting chance because she was strong and she was brave. She would have kicked his ***,” Knorr said.
Billings made no statements during his sentencing. His attorneys say he wasn’t feeling well enough to do that. However, his defense team says he had made a previous statement saying, “I can’t believe how stupid I am. I can’t believe I took someone’s life and I can’t believe I caused so much pain.”
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