A wealthy Florida couple was known for adopting and caring for disabled children. But their family was torn apart two years ago when men dressed like ninjas entered their home and shot the couple to death in the presence of their kids. Now several people involved with the crime are being sentenced for the wrongful death.
The man who reportedly shot the couple has already been sentenced to death. One of those involved, an 18-year-old man who was 16 at the time of the murders, was sentenced to 24 years in prison, plus 21 years of probation earlier this month. Another man, who was 19 at the time of the crimes, was sentenced to 22 years in prison and 18 years of probation.
Others involved received sentences of 17 and a half years and 20 years, respectively. Their sentences were likely lowered because they apparently cooperated with prosecutors to some degree, according to the Pensacola News Journal. The men who received the lightest sentences were not in the couple’s home at the time of the killings.
Two other suspects were convicted previously and got life sentences. Yet another person involved, a woman convicted of being an accessory after the fact, is facing sentencing in early September. She apparently hid evidence from police after the murders.
According to reports, the couple’s adult daughter was satisfied with the sentences. Those close to the family say it has been a difficult time for them, but they feel a sense of relief that the process is nearing an end.
Source: Pensacola News Journal, “4 men in Billings murders sentenced,” Louis Cooper, Aug. 4, 2011