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Woman convicted in murder for hire

What began as an insurance scam landed a Dallas County woman jail time on multiple charges Thursday.

Marie Billingsley was found guilty on charges of solicitation of murder, criminal conspiracy to commit murder, and three counts of forgery second degree in Dallas County Circuit Court.

The case, assistant Attorney General Andrew Arrington said, involved an incident where Billingsley secured the address and social security number of a Marion resident and applied for $800,000 in insurance policies in the victim’s name.

“Starting back in 2002, Billingsley started taking out insurance policies on the lady she knew from Marion, and was not related to her whatsoever,” he said. “She somehow obtained her Social Security number and date of birth and went out and took out policies on this lady and committed fraud in that she presented herself as the lady’s mother.”

Six total applications were made, Arrington said, and three were approved.

“She would have gotten a little more than $400,000 off those policies that were actually granted,” he said. “If they had all worked out, she was looking at making close to $1 million off this lady.”

When the policies were placed side by side, Arrington said it was obvious that different people had signed the victim’s name.

Once the policies were in place, Arrington said Billingsley solicited someone to run the victim over for $30,000.

The plan, Arrington said, was to have the victim lured out of her house, hit her in the head, take her out to a remote part of Perry County, and run her over with the car.

The next step, Arrington said, was to have the car used in the crime crushed to destroy the evidence.

The Attorney General’s office became aware of the case while investigating a separate incident, Arrington said.

“Our office was doing an investigation into a missing person and stumbled into this,” he said. “We investigated and corroborated the evidence we had learned and we arrested her on that. We were able to stop her before she actually killed someone.”

Special Agent Susan Smith, who works for the Attorney General’s office, was working the missing person’s case. While following up a lead, one of the witnesses made a comment about Billingsley.

The witness did not know the victim’s name, but had an idea of where she lived.

“The reason they needed this third person was because they knew the victim wouldn’t go anywhere with Jerry or Marie Billingsley,” he said. “That’s where he came into play.”

Billingsley will be sentenced at a later date.

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