SALT LAKE CITY — A West Valley man accused of shooting and killing a code enforcement officer he had summoned to his house will remain in jail as he awaits trial.
Third District Judge Randall Skanchy on Tuesday declined to remove a no-bail order for Kevin Wayne Billings, 64, after the family of the slain officer, Jill Lanette Robinson, said they fear he will hurt someone else or himself if he is released.
"We are devastated that we will not have one last phone call, one last vacation, one last Christmas, one last family party, one last anything with her, not even a goodbye," Robinson's cousin Tracy Maxfield told the judge.
Prosecutors say Billings, who had received city notices to clean up his yard in the past, shot and killed Robinson, 52, before lighting her body on fire Aug. 9. He is also accused of burning down the house of a neighbor he suspected had reported him to the city.
"This is not your normal homicide case," Salt Lake County deputy district attorney Chou Chou Collins said Tuesday. "This woman was doing her job."
Billings has not entered a plea to any of the charges. He appeared in a beard and a brown jail jumpsuit on Tuesday, using a walker to move about.
Defense attorney Nick Falcone said his client is not a flight risk because he has knee and weight problems that make it difficult for him to get around. Falcone asked the judge to set bail at $1 million at the highest and said an ankle monitor could keep his client confined, emphasizing that Billings has the support of a large family with 11 grandchildren and is an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
"He has been very upset about these events that have occurred," Falcone said.
Collins argued that despite his health issues, Billings managed to shoot Robinson at close range five months ago. The longtime code officer had arrived at Billings' house, 4102 W. Wendy Ave. (2925 South), a day after he called her to arrange a meeting to discuss his violations, charges state. Billings then set fire to the neighboring home, prosecutors say, killing six dogs and two cats. The home was a total loss.
After Robinson's death, he allegedly said that after 40 years of harassment, the unarmed city employee "got what she deserved," according to a jail report. Police serving search warrants on his home found guns and explosives, court records show. The documents also show Billings has a history of code violations that took place mostly in the 1990s.
"There are so many things about this that would suggest that this is abnormal and abhorrent behavior," the judge said just before denying bail.
Billings is charged with aggravated murder and aggravated arson, first-degree felonies; arson, a second-degree felony; desecration of a dead body and five counts of possession of explosive parts, third-degree felonies; and four counts of aggravated cruelty to animals, a class A misdemeanor.
If he is convicted, prosecutors could seek the death penalty, but they have not indicated whether they intend to do so. He is due back in court Feb. 19.