For those that know me, you know Rick and I are not friends. I challenged his integrity after he consulting him at the beginning of my quest for the truth in this case. Rick provided a wealth of knowledge that was never published and I was able to corroborate that. His facts were never disclosed and he was “sitting on them”. I asked why he never did anything with that information. He said, “well time moves on; people lose interest”. That was really interesting to me. The facts I speak of point to the innocence of Pat Gonzalez Jr.
So my reply to his statement that time moves on was, “This is a man’s life; you’re telling me you just didn’t feel like pursuing the truth. So what does that say about your integrity?” He stammered, hemmed and hawed. Finally hung up on me. Tried to intimidate me to redact a column of his regarding this murder in my book. It was fully credited to him, but he said for $25K. He’d abandon his claim on that article.
I replied after consulting an attorney. Needless to say, nothing ever became of it.
So this article ,published on theInWeekly.net site, is a recap of the Billings case as well as sort of tribute to Sheriff Morgan and his tenure. Naturally, I have many issues with it. I will copy the excerpt that I find less than accurate.
“The crime exposed an underbelly of Escambia County that few locals wanted to admit existed”
This is the most truthful assertion of the article. Those that know the Billings Case intimately know that there is great deal of info that came out about Byrd Billings and his businesses, families and that opens up the door to incites into his murder. None of these things were ever officially investigated.
“…established Sheriff David Morgan has (presumably ‘as’) one of the top law enforcement leaders in the country. “
This is a flat lie and cannot be proven by any stretch. He is a legend in his own mind but the world does not share that delusion; Rick appears too as well.
While his “policy” may be not to go to the scene of a homicide, that did not stop him from showing up at this one. That will never be found in any report. Which begs the question, why?
I know Morgan was there because of the account from Robbi Jones, a lady who lived on the property with her husband, Samuel. They did odd jobs for Byrd and Robbi was home at the time of the murder. She didn’t have a clear line of sight of the main house as she lived in a trailer behind a detached garage. But you’d think she and her husband would have given a statement at least or would be questioned. That didn’t happen. However, the kids, April, Ashley, Blue and Justin all gathered in her trailer with the kids when Morgan arrived. He wrote down Robbi’s name in his little notebook and probably was in her home for 20 minutes or so. However, nothing ever came of it. She literally is excluded in history and was never investigated as a possible suspect.
When Robbi contacted me last year, I was shocked. I had not ever seen her name or her hubby’s in ANY paperwork. Robbi told me she was on Dateline with the family. This is an excerpt of the transcript of that episode, ” No Safe Place”:
Robbi and James both saw Morgan and talked with him. Why is that part left out of the narrative. Morgan alludes to it by saying his “policy is not to go to the scene of a homicide”. You can almost hear the “but that night….” that surely followed in this quote. Conveniently left out.
Robbi’s other contribution is that she can attest to the chaos, lack of procedure, lack of securing the scene overnight as well as deputies coming to get Justin to access the video. That is such a sloppy law enforcement act. That evidence is tainted by virtue Justin could have easily accessed another video, deleted part etc….this breaks the chain of custody and this evidence should have been excluded by this act alone.
None of this “organization” or him sitting down asking how to make this easier for them to investigate. In fact, there were several people working different parts of the case. For example, a pair of investigators looked into Lenny Gonzalez and the van. Another pair went to investigate differing areas but none of these investigators EVER sat down and shared their findings with each other. No one knew more than there task. It was all coming in to Morgan but he wasn’t disseminating.
Chris Baggett’s depo sheds more light on the level of coordination and checks and balances.
So Morgan is the Top Law Enforcement Leaders in the Country? HA!