Utah man charged with killing city worker over yard cleanup
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A Utah man called a city worker to his house, shot her in the head and set her body on fire after she mailed him notice to clean up his yard in suburban Salt Lake City, prosecutors said in charges filed Tuesday.
Kevin W. Billings, 64, killed code enforcement officer Jill Robinson with a single gunshot to the head, then doused her and her work truck with gasoline and set both on fire, authorities said in court documents.
Billings was charged with 13 counts, including aggravated murder, which carries the possibility of the death penalty, arson and desecration of a human body. No attorney was immediately listed for him in court records.
Billings claimed Robinson, 52, “got what she deserved” after “years of harassment,” police said. A neighbor saw him leaning on his walker in his driveway with a “smirk” after the shooting, the charges say.
He also “meticulously” cut a large hole in a fence and burned his neighbors’ house down, apparently believing they had reported his yard to officials in West Valley City, the charges say.
He had been clearing thick vegetation from around the fence for days before setting the fire, prosecutors said. It killed five dogs and a cat, but his neighbors were not hurt. Billings also was charged with animal cruelty.
The violence started after Billings made an appointment for Robinson to come to his house the morning of Aug. 9, about two weeks after Robinson first mailed him a notice that his messy yard and unregistered vehicles violated city rules. If he didn’t clean it up, the notice said the city could levy a $50-a-day fine.
The appointment would have been a routine follow-up inspection for the unarmed, civilian worker who had worked for the city for 10 years. Court records show Billings had faced weed-control and waste-accumulation charges decades ago, before Robinson started working for the city.
Police also found illegal blasting caps and a detonation cord at his house, prosecutors said.