Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Mansion Murders of Byrd and Melanie Billings

The Incredible Growing List of Suspects

How many people does it take to pull off a heist and murder of the parents of a family in the double-digits? A lot, it turned out.

Fredrick Lee Thornton
Fredrick Lee Thornton
As each day passed, new information turned up new suspectsseven in allall of whom had very loose connections to each other. They would all face murder charges. In addition to the two Gonzalez men and Coldiron, police arrested Gary Lamont Sumner, Fredrick Lee Thornton, Donald Ray Stallworth the Air Force vet, and a teenager who was later identified as Rakeem Chaney Florence.

Four of the suspectsSumner, Thornton, Stallworth, and the teenagerwere from a nearby county. It turned out that they had met through an auto detailing group. Others had met through a pressure-washing business. Most of the suspects were "day laborers." Stallworth, though, appeared to have no real connection to the others. He had been in the Air Force Special Operations Command in Fort Walton Beach.

Gary Lamont Sumner
Gary Lamont Sumner
Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan told CBS News: "We're dealing with a group of folks with rare exceptionof course, there's a couple of people who are notthat again are basically day laborer sorts, folks that get odd jobs, part-time jobs and they drift," Morgan said. "With the exception of Mr. Stallworth, you don't have any career-minded people in this group."

They were a hastily organized group, teased along by the prospect of easy money.

They were no angels, either. Coldiron had served two years in Tennessee for killing a man during a brawl according to the Associated Press. And police believe that two of the suspects, Stallworth and Sumner, may have been involved in a string of robberies in 2005, one of which ended in a murder. WKRG News reported that "the home invasion robberies appeared to target drug dealers who held large amounts of cash."

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