Karate Instructor Robs And Kills Wealthy Couple, As Ninja
A karate instructor is facing the death penalty for masterminding a ‘ninja group’ double killing of a wealthy couple in July 2009.
Leonard Patrick Gonzalez Jr, 36, is charged with organising the break-in and entry at Byrd and Melanie Billings’ house near Pensacola, Florida, and their killing, which was done as the couple’s nine young disabled children cowered or slept nearby.
The group, dressed in black ninja outfits, peppered the bedroom with bullets, shooting the couple in the face and head during a botched attempt to steal a cash-filled safe.
Investigators have said Mr Gonzalez required his alleged partners-in-crime to dress in the clothing for the attack.
Six co-defendants at the trial, which begins today, have been charged with first-degree murder.
Several could testify against Mr Gonzalez and name him as the man who fatally shot Mr Billings, who owned a company that financed used-car purchases.
Two of Mr Gonzalez’s co-defendants are scheduled to testify against him, prosecutor Bill Eddins revealed.
But none of the young children, who were unharmed in the attack, are expected to testify about what they saw in their home that night, said Mr Eddins.