The Justice Files: Man sentenced to life in prison for killing WVC code enforcement officer

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WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) A man accused of murdering a West Valley City code enforcement officer was sentenced Monday to life in prison.

Kevin Wayne Billings pleaded guilty in February. Monday, he was sentenced to life in prison with no chance at parole for the murder of Jill Robinson. 

According to court documents, Billings had been in trouble with the City Code Enforcement Office a number of times before, but on August 9, 2018, he waited for enforcement officer Jill Robinson to arrive at his house. 

He then proceeded to shoot her, light her body and truck on fire, and then torch his neighbor’s house.

“Nobody will ever know what the heartache and pain that we are still suffering because of the vile acts of one person,” said Ronny Robinson, Jill’s mother.  “I just have this hole. I don’t sleep at night and I can’t sleep and I wake up at night and I think about her.”

At his sentencing, Billings didn’t say a word. His attorney claimed he was too sick to speak.

“(He’s) very sad, very remorseful, a lot of tears, ” said Nick Falcone, his attorney. “It’s been a rough couple of weeks getting him ready for sentencing today. We’re glad this is behind us and hopefully the family can start healing after today.”

But a Robinson family member didn’t see him being remorseful. On one occassion, Billings was caught smiling.

“It’s what you’d expect from a monster like that like he was smiling,” said Jessica Knorr, Robinson’s daughter. “He didn’t have an apology.”

Billings’ life was spared after he accepted a plea bargain.  The charges were death penalty eligible. But he will spend life in prison without parole. It didn’t sit well with Robinson’s daughters.

“Nothing about this is fair,” said Katie Merrill. “The monster gets to live and breathe even if it is in prison.

Knorr said her mother was taken gun safety classes and was more than ready to defend herself with a weapon.  But West Valley City does not allow code enforcement officers to be armed while performing their duties.

“If you ask a police officer to go and do my mom’s job, go to people’s houses and give them a notice of violation, discuss whether they’d cleaned up their yard properly, police would not go and do that without a gun,” said Knorr.

Since Robinson’s death, code enforcement officers have been given additional training and if there is an agressive neighbor they are told to retreat and call a police officer.

A text from a spokesman with West Valley City stated: “Our code enforcements are not public safety officers.  Because of that, a firearm is not a part of their job.”

Despite her death, Jill Robinson does live on through her brother. When Jaren Robinson was given six months to live from his battle with leukemia, she donated bone marrow.

“She was ready willing and she jumped right in and did everything she needed to do to make sure I could live on,” said Jaren Robinson.

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