Billingsley indicted for murder plot

Published 11:51pm Friday, July 6, 2012

MONTGOMERY — A woman previously convicted for trying to have an individual murdered for financial gain will now face additional charges after investigators revealed she sought to have a judge and investigator maimed or murdered, Attorney General Luther Strange announced Friday.

Marie Billingsley, 59, was notified of her indictment at the Tutwiler Prison for Women, where she is currently serving after being convicted of criminal solicitation to commit murder and three counts of second-degree forgery last December.

The Attorney General’s Office presented evidence that revealed Billingsley’s scheme to murder a woman and collect approximately $400,000 of life insurance during a trial in Dallas County Circuit Court, according to a press release.

Billingsley reportedly solicited a third person to assist in the murder, but that person instead notified authorities of the murder plot.

Authorities were able to locate and identify the victim, the press release said, thus preventing the murder. In the process of exposing the murder plot, authorities reportedly discovered Billingsley’s forgeries of multiple life insurance policies.

On April 16, she was sentenced to 21 years for solicitation to commit murder and to two years for each of the three forgery convictions, with these sentences to run concurrently.

Two days later, the Attorney General’s Office presented additional evidence to a Dallas County grand jury, resulting in Billingsley’s indictment on the following four counts:

criminal solicitation to commit murder by soliciting someone to murder the judge who had heard the trail of her previous case; criminal solicitation to commit murder by soliciting some to murder an investigator who had worked on the case; criminal solicitation to commit first-degree assault by soliciting someone to “disfigure seriously and permanently or to destroy, amputate or disable permanently a member or organ of (the judge’s) body;” criminal solicitation to commit first-degree assault by soliciting someone to “disfigure seriously and permanently or to destroy, amputate or disable permanently a member or organ of (the investigator’s) body.”

Andrew Arrington, assistant attorney general, said threats to the judge, Circuit 4 Judge Jack Meigs, as well as investigator Special Agent Susan Smith with the Attorney General’s Office, began in January following Billingsley’s initial trial.

If convicted of the charges in the April indictment, the press release said Billingsley faces a potential penalty of life imprisonment for each charge of solicitation to commit murder, and 15 years to life imprisonment for each charge of solicitation to commit first-degree assault.

The Attorney General’s Office will handle the case, and Arrington said it was his understanding that Billingsley would remain in Tutwiler until after the case.

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