Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Mansion Murders of Byrd and Melanie Billings

The Father

Leonard P. Gonzalez Sr.
Leonard P. Gonzalez Sr.
On Sunday, Leonard Gonzalez Sr. was arrested for tampering with evidence. In a classic dumb criminal move, he had begun painting over part of the van that had been damaged while reports circulated advising people to be on the lookout for suspicious activity related to old red vans. That same day his son, Gonzalez Jr., and Wayne Coldiron were also arrested. They were charged with murder and home invasion.

The elder Gonzalez, it turned out, had talked to police and gotten his own son arrested; his son in turn quickly tried to discredit him. The younger Gonzalez told the media in a press conference: "With the exception of the statements that have been made, coerced, bullied or manipulated out of a mentally ill person, there is no hard evidence that links me to the scene of the crimes that occurred July 9."

His father had apparently admitted to driving his son and a friend (presumably Coldiron) to the home.

Later, it was revealed that his son has persuaded him to be a getaway driver in the murder by telling him the Billings molested their children.

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