Teen suspect charged as adult: Billingsley jailed in attempted robbery

Published 12:00 am Monday, February 19, 2007

The Selma Times-Journal

A 17-year-old involved in a foiled robbery attempt Saturday night, which resulted in the death of his accomplice and the shooting of a local businessman, is being charged as an adult.

Keotha Billingsley was released Sunday from the Dallas County Jail on $5,000 bond. Billingsley and Michael Walker, 18, allegedly attempted to rob Nathaniel Gary at gunpoint after he closed his business, Doc’s Fashions, at 1522 Broad St., police said.

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Gunshots were exchanged in the alley beside the store and Walker was killed in the shooting. Gary was shot in the upper left thigh, police said. Billingsley fled the scene and police arrested him after receiving information identifying him as being involved.

Walker’s was the third violent death reported this year, and authorities are calling the shooting self-defense. Police Chief Jimmy Martin said Monday no formal charges are being brought against Gary and the investigation is ongoing.

“My sympathy goes out to the deceased’s family members,” Martin said. “But when you go out and commit a crime, and you’re killed, then you become somewhat of a victim to your family. In reality, this never had to happen.”

Police were called to the scene just after 7:30 p.m. Saturday, when officers found Walker on the ground in an alley where Gary was reportedly about to get into his vehicle. A 9-mm Highpoint pistol was lying beside Walker.

Gary was transported to Vaughan Regional Medical Center where he was treated and released, police said.

Billingsley will have to come to court for his arraignment within the next couple weeks. District Attorney Michael Jackson said Billingsley is facing 20 years to life in prison if convicted of robbery in the first degree.

“When you commit a robbery and you’re 17, you get sent to the county jail. There’s no juvenile center,” Jackson said. “That’s over for him. Now it’s automatic. They don’t have to get certified as an adult.”