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Arrests in Murder of Fla. Couple Who Adopted Special Needs Kids

Seven suspects were apprehended for the murder of Melanie and Byrd Billings, the Pensacola, Florida couple who left a legacy of their passion for adopting special needs children. 

Law enforcement arrest reports (below) detail the execution of the brutal home invasion and robbery that ended with the Billings being murdered, all while eight (8) of their children "with varying degrees of disability [remained] in the residence" during the homicides.

The seven suspects currently in custody include:

    • Gary L. Sumner, Jr. (30)
    • Leonard Patrick Gonzalez, Jr. (35)
    • Leonard Patrick Gonzalez, Sr. (56)
    • Donald R. Stallworth (28)
    • Wayne Coldiron (41)
    • Rahkeem Chavez Florence (17)
    • Fredrick Lee Thornton (19)


Suspects Thornton allegedly Florence told investigators that they were involved in the home invasion, during which the "Billings were shot to death."

According to an arrest warrant issued for Sumner, Leonard Patrick Gonzalez, Sr. and Caldiron eacj allegedly told investigators "during a post-Miranda interview" that Sumner was the driver of one vehicle at the murder scene.

The elder Gonzalez aslo allegedly told investigators that his own son and Caldiron both went into the residence with weapons.

You can read arrest warrants for four of the suspects in the murders of Byrd and Melanie Billings here.


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