Last year a couple with nine special needs children lost their lives to a group of young men over what they thought was going to be a major financial score. The group’s leader convinced the others that they would be hitting a family home for $13 million. He made them believe that the couple was laundering money for the Mexican mafia. (Obviously, no one involved in this horrific crime was too bright.)
On the day of July 9, 2009, the leader, Leonard Gonzalez Jr., 35, took six young men into the home of Byrd and Melanie Billings with the intent to intimidate and scare them into turning over the money, but Gonzalez reneged on the deal. They killed the couple. Byrd was killed in front of one of his nine children.
Rakeem Florence and Frederick Thornton, 20, both had their charges downgraded to second degree murder in exchange for their testimony against Gonzalez. They told the jury that Gonzalez was the brain behind the whole thing “leading pre-invasion meetings, supplying the firearms and all-black clothing, and ordering they destroy the clothing afterward,” according to CNN. All of them will likely get life in prison and their ages range from 18 – 35. Thornton took the stand. Check him out: