West Valley City man pleads guilty to reduced charges after shooting death of code compliance officer

Kevin Wayne Billings. Photos: Salt Lake County; Gephardt Daily

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah, Feb. 22, 2019 (Gephardt Daily) — Kevin Wayne Billings has pleaded guilty to four charges related to the Aug. 9, 2018, death of a city code compliance officer he had called to his West Valley City residence after it was cited for yard cleanliness violations.

Billings pleaded guilty Friday to the shooting death of Jill Robinson, 62, who had informed him by mail that a daily fee would be imposed for uncorrected violations in his junk-filled yard.

Billings, who had a long history of code violations, was also charged with causing an explosion and fire at the residence of neighbors he believed had reported his trashy yard to authorities. The neighbors’ four dogs died in the fire.

On Friday, Billings, 65, pleaded guilty to:

  • Criminal homicide — aggravated murder, a first-degree felony
  • Aggravated arson, a first-degree felony
  • Arson, a second-degree felony
  • Aggravated cruelty to an animal, a class A misdemeanor

Previously, Billings had faced additional charges of abuse or desecration of a dead human body, a third-degree felony; five counts of recklessness — incendiary device, a third-degree felony; and three additional counts of aggravated cruelty to an animal, a class A misdemeanor.

Jill Robinson, West Valley City code enforcement officer, was shot dead on the job on Thursday, Aug. 9, 2018. Photo courtesy: West Valley City

“A male, later identified as Kevin Billings, was observed by a witness pouring what they believed to be gasoline around a West Valley City Compliance truck, which he then ignited,” a probable cause statement said. “Several other witnesses observed Billings in the driveway of his residence at 4102 W. Wendy Ave. as the fires burned and the female lay deceased.”

“Medics noticed Ms. Robinson had burn marks on her lower extremities consistent with an accelerant or other flammable substance being applied to the body, then lit on fire,” the probable cause statement said. “The burns were inconsistent with fire spread through radiant heating.”

Witnesses also reported hearing Billings speak, a probable cause statement said, referencing the death of Robinson, who had held her job for about a decade.

“After 40 years of harassment, the bitch got what she deserved,” witnesses reported Billings as saying.

Billings faces life in prison without parole. His sentencing is set for May 6.

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