Parents still want answers in son's homicide

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By Shaina Stockton, Staff

INDEPENDENCE — Indictments in an 11-year-old unsolved murder case has the possibility of bringing closure to Brandon Billings’ family, but mother Sherry Billings knows that nothing will ever bring back what she lost.
Sherry delivered a tearful statement at a press conference on Monday afternoon, sharing her feelings and thoughts on the case and its recent developments.


“Now we have really mixed emotions. We’re sad and we’re happy at the same time. We’re happy that this arrest is being made now. We’re happy that we know who’s [accused of the crime],” she said.
However, the new turn in the case has left Sherry and husband Kyle with more questions that she is afraid will never be answered. “[Brandon] was such a special person. Everyone loved Brandon who met him. He was always kind and gentle. Why they could do this to him, I do not know. I don’t know if we will every really know the truth or not,” she said.
Since the news broke about the indictments on Jan. 10, Sherry has already seen statements on Facebook from the parents of suspects George Albert Harper III and Chad Allen Reeves, concerning the fates of their own sons.
“I do have feelings for the other mothers. There were some comments made on Facebook that they were going to lose their sons,” she said.  “But they’re not losing their sons. They may be behind bars, but they have telephone communication, they have visitations and letters... our visitation is at the grave. We don’t get to talk to [Brandon] anymore. We don’t get our hugs, our kisses.”
After 11 years of waiting, Sherry told the press that there was more waiting yet. It could be several months, or even another year, before she has more of her questions answered.  “We have waited and been so anxious... we’re going to go through a lot,” she said.
Thankfully, she said she has a loving family and friends to fall back on for support. “We have super friends, hundreds who have supported us and been so good through all of it.”
Although the wait has been long, Sherry stated that her faith in God gave her an answer to why this case took more time to develop, stating that she would not have handled the news as gracefully if it had been released 11 years ago.
“I’ve come to deal with it a little better, and my Brandon was a really respectful person to himself and others. I’ve come to realize that I could not disrespect him in any way, no matter how bad my heart hurts and what I wanted to do.”
Sherry said she would not have full closure on the death of her son until a sentence is handed out — one to the fullest extent of the law. “I’m hoping that it’s life without parole. Brandon got the death penalty and we got life... I hope they get life,” she said.
Grayson Commonwealth’s Attorney Doug Vaught has said he will seek first-degree murder charges against the suspects. Life in prison would be the maximum penalty for that conviction.
Sherry extended her thanks to the agencies that have put in years of work on the case. “I thank Jerry Wilson and his team for the first five years of investigations. They went to the point as far as they could go. When [Sheriff Richard Vaughan] came in, he told me that he would work as hard as he could on it, and he has done that,” she said.
“They have went to extremes, put in thousands of hours, and done a lot of hard work... Richard and Doug Vaught, they have been a team in this with us. They have kept us up to date for the last six, seven years on this case. They’ve been to a lot of areas that people don’t realize, even as far as New Mexico and several other states.
“They really put a lot of determination in this. I can’t tell you how really proud of them we are.”