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Billings case: Sunday, July 12 part 2

CONTRACT HIT
Sunday, July 12

Shortly after 7 p.m., a warrant for Wayne Coldiron is issued charging him with murder. Investigator James O’Hara, along with several other investigators and patrol units, go to 210 Yokum Court in Brent area to pick up Coldiron.

The units secure the perimeter. After announcing their presence, Coldiron exits the residence. He has completely shaved his head completely. He hangs his head and never asks why he is being arrested. He only asks for a pair of shoes and a shirt.

Investigator Ward gets written consent to search the residence from the girlfriend, who was the primary renter. They look for a gun and zip ties, but find neither.

MURDER-FOR-HIRE, MEXICAN MAFIA

At approximately 8 p.m. Patrick Gonzalez is arrested by the Santa Rosa County Sherriff’s Office on a murder warrant at his Gulf Breeze resident. Investigator Baggett helps him to the Santa Rosa County Jail in Milton. Patrick asks for Chief Deputy Bill Chavers to be present during the interview. In a post Miranda statement, Gonzalez tells Chavers what he believed happened.

Chief Deputy Bill Chavers knew Gonzalez as Pat Poff and had taken karate classes with him in the 1980’s.

Chavers had been asked by to the investigators and the State Attorney’s Office to call Patrick and see if he would meet with him. He had chosen Flounder’s Ale House on Pensacola Beach because that was place that they had met numerous times and it was close to the Gonzalez home.

When was about to call Gonzalez, Investigator Baggett called to say that Gonzalez had been arrest and was being transported to Milton.

Chavers writes in his report, “During this phone call. I overhead a voice in the background and asked if that was Patrick Gonzalez.” It is and Patrick wants Chavers to meet them at the Santa Rosa County Jail.

Chavers talks with Gonzalez without an investigator in the room after reading him his Miranda Rights and getting the suspect to sign a Rights Waiver Form. It’s 8:32 p.m.

Patrick immediately asks why he was picked up. Chavers tells him it was over the Billings incident. If it is about the red van, Gonzalez says, “You can ask me anything you want, I can prove I was not in that van and haven’t driven it lately.

“I’m not guilt of anything.”

In choppy statements, Patrick talks about his whereabouts, the van and what and who he thinks might be involved. He is excited and nervous.

His mom purchased the red Dodge van for him after she had filed bankruptcy and needed to take back the vehicle that she had originally given him. He took the van to his father for him to work on it. The van had ended up at the Elberta convenience store because he and his dad drove it around the Pensacola area, mostly on back roads since it didn’t have a tag, and the clutch had heated up. They got it back to Pensacola, parked it in his dad’s front yard and he hadn’t driven it since. The best he could remember was that was Wednesday, July 8.

On Thursday, July 9, h claimed said that he gone to his dad’s trailer and didn’t remember seeing the van in the front yard. He couldn’t get his dad to come to the door so he assumed that he moved the van to work on it. Patrick later returned around 6:30 p.m. His dad was extremely drunk so he went back home.

When he saw the security of the red van leaving the scene on the news, he was concerned because it looked like the van. He called his dad, but he didn’t answer the phone.

Friday morning at 6 a.m., his dad called, “We’ve got to move the vehicle, we’ve got to move the vehicle.” When he got to his dad’s, the van was behind the trailer and his dad was cleaning out its inside. He said that he saw some “things,” but he wouldn’t say what he saw. “I’d rather not go into that right now.”

Patrick says several people knew about the van and where the keys were kept. Maybe someone had taken it and parked it behind the trailer.

Patrick alludes that his dad was a “very heavy drinker” and would generally drink himself to sleep every day which is why his dad might not notice the van being taken.

He also says people might try to implicate him in the murders. He talks about having personal disagreements with Justin Billings, with whom he had worked at a car lot and even “done jobs together” for other dealers when they had problems.

Chavers notes that Patrick’s demeanor and tone indicates that he and Justin were used as heavies to get payments from those who were behind. Patrick states he felt that Cab Tice (Chavers had originally called him Thice) was upset at him for the wrong reasons and he thought they had worked out any concerns.

He starts to mention some others then he changed the subject, “I don’t I want to go there now.”

In the course of the interview, Gonzalez states “the car dealers just did not like Billings over business dealings and money issues.” He went on to say, “that Cab Tice came to him and indicated that the group wanted Billings ‘whacked’, but he (Patrick) refused the job.”

According to Chavers’ report, “When I asked him to name the car dealers again, Patrick responded that he wasn’t at the meeting, but had heard from Cab Tice that a Mr. Mantis, a Jerry Wood (who might be Mantis), a Phillips and a few others. Patrick also stated most of these men had nicknames and he wasn’t sure about their real names.”

Patrick also “clearly indicated that there were some MS13 ties to the Billings situation.”
He doesn’t confess but he mentions a possible contract hit, the involvement of Cab Tice and the Mexican organized crime.

“I can prove I haven’t been driving the van recently and I can prove I’m not guilty of anything.” Then he leans into Chief Chavers, “If this is about the killings, I didn’t do it; I can prove I didn’t do it, but I may know some people who may have done this. But it wasn’t me, Mr. Chavers.

“This is real deep. I’ll take the heat, I’ll go to prison. I’ll even die, if have to because if this gets out, my family is in danger. They are in danger now because they know I’m in jail. I don’t want anything to happen to my family!”

Patrick then tries to give chronological account of his Thursday, July 9. He meets a couple of black male friends at 3 p.m. at WalMart, but he refuses to indentify them. He drives to Midway to pay his water bill. He and a couple friends drive to the home of another friend, Pam Long, to look at her Bentley at about 4:30 p.m.

Then he changes the subject again.

Patrick repeats that what he is involved in is “very deep” and that not only is he in danger, but his family is in danger and he needs to get out so he could take care of them. When Chavers asks for more details, Patrick says, “Maybe I need to talk to the Feds about this.”

After looking down at the floor for a few minutes, Patrick tells Chavers that he has been used in the past by several car dealers in Pensacola to handle jobs for them to “whack” folk. When Chavers frowned at the word “whack”, Patrick indicates it was over business deals with the car dealers.

Some of the car dealers were unhappy with Bud Billings over business dealings and money issues. The car dealers just did not like Billings at all and had met a couple times to discuss the problem they were having with Bud Billings.

Cab Tice came to Patrick and indicated that the group wanted Billings “whacked”, but Pat refused the job. He heard from Tice that Mr. Mantis – a Jerry Wood, a Phillips and a few others. Some of them had nicknames and Patrick wasn’t sure about their real names.

When Baggett enters the room, Patrick says that he isn’t pleased with Baggett but he would talk. He signs another Rights Waiver Form at 9:20 p.m. Chavers sits in on that interview.

Patrick rehashes some of what he had told Chavers, including the alleged meeting between some of the car dealers and their decision to whack Billings. He names some of the dealers and Cab Tice. When it comes to the Billings incident, Patrick begins talking in the second person by beginning with his comments with “if I had done this, I would have…”

When asked Patrick about a particular hand sign from some information he had, Patrick gets even more excited and starts talking about the MS13 organization. He is very candid and animated. He mentions another car dealer, Sanchez, is also involved and that we need to be looking for MS13 involvement in the Billings case, because they are also very upset with Bud Billings and the way he had treated them as well. Patrick clearly indicates there were some MS13 ties to the Billings situation.

Shortly after making the MS13 comments, Patrick states that he doesn’t want to talk anymore and wants to talk to his attorney.

Patrick’s last request is that he not be left in Santa Rosa County Jail for fear that he would be attacked.

COLDIRON INTERVIEWED
At 8:14 p.m. Lee Tyree interviews Wayne Coldiron at the ECSO. State Attorney Bill Eddins originally sits in on the interview and informs Coldiron of the seriousness of the charges and the need for him to be truthful in the interview.

Tyree and Bobby Gut conduct the interview. Much of it is redacted from the Tyree’s report. Coldiron denies that he is the shooter or having knowledge of who the shooter is. He mentions a Pam, didn’t know her last name.

PRESS CONFERENCE
TWO MORE ARRESTS

At 10 p.m. Sheriff David Morgan holds another press conference to announce the arrest Wayne Coldiron, who he says surrendered about 8 p.m. to law enforcement. During the middle of the press conference, detectives pull him aside and inform him that Patrick Gonzalez is in custody also. Both are facing murder charges.

“The investigation is ongoing; other counts may be added,” Sheriff David Morgan says of the open counts of murder. He tells the reporters that Coldiron was taken into custody without incident in Escambia County about 8:00 Sunday night. He had been in Gulf Breeze, but the sheriff said he contacted his department and arranged to surrender in Escambia County.

Morgan describes Coldiron as a day laborer, known to work with car dealers. However, there is no known connection between Coldiron and the Billings. “We have no information that would lead us to believe that Mr. Coldiron had any previous contact with the Billings family,” he says.

Coldiron and Gonzalez, Jr. are being held on $1,000,000 bond each in the Escambia County Jail.

Morgan says the investigation has become “a window into something bigger,” with multiple motives and multiple suspects. But he releases few details.

“No family members are currently suspects,” Morgan says, “nor has the investigation revealed anything that would suggest the compromised integrity of the family.”

“The people that were murdered they were good people performing very positive roles in the community,” Eddins adds. “This is a very horrible tragedy.”

“This is certainly one of the most complex (cases),” Eddins said. “I’ve seen others that rival this in other parts of the circuit, but as far as Escambia County is concerned, I believe this is this most complex I’ve seen in my 4 1/2 years in office.”

Media gets footage of Wayne Coldiron being transported to the jail at 1:30 a.m. on Monday, July 13.

SHOCKING PAM WIGGINS
Investigators Bobby Guy and Tama Barber, visit Pamela Long Wiggins, age 48, at her Gulf Breeze residence, 1247 Ramblewood Drive. She identifies herself as Pamela Long and seems stunned. She can’t remember her home phone number

Guy tells her that Patrick has been arrested. She says that she has known him for six or seven months. That he was a friend of her boyfriend, Hugh Wiggins, who was working offshore at the time.

She says that Patrick helps her with her rental properties, “moving furniture and doing stuff.” His family wound up moving into one of her houses in Victoria Village. His wife Tabitha does property management for Long.

“They’ll come over and barbeque and go swimming and stuff. And he’s helped me move and fix property and paint and do all kind of stuff that I needed two hands for.”

She says that she and Tabitha had been cleaning the condo on Saturday. “When I took her there were two investigators at her house when I dropped her off from cleaning the condo.” Tabitha told her it was all a big mistake and that they would all get it cleared up.

Long lets Patrick use her red mini-van routinely. She also said that she has had some health issues the last couple of months.

“I’m on Prozac and Wellbutrin and he changed my medication about three weeks ago and I’ve just …that’s one reason why I haven’t been at work much cause I have trouble remembering things.”

She had met Leonard Gonzalez after Memorial Day weekend when he helped cut up some fallen limbs. She doesn’t know Cab Tice and hasn’t met Wayne Coldiron or any black friends of Patrick.

Long is watching her grandchild. which makes the interview difficult. She remembers Patrick borrowing the car on Thursday, July 9. She says that her husband, Hugh Wiggins had a lot of weapons. She said that he didn’t loan them to Patrick.

Guy and Barber have a search warrant for the house. At first she says that she had control of all the weapons, but later backtracks and says Patrick had access to the house. He has a key and knows where the hide-a-key was.

Does she have any questions about the search warrant?

“I hate ya’ll for scaring me to death.”

Helping with the search of the 1247 Ramblewood house are Investigator Scott Jones, Capt. Jim Spencer, Sgt. Bo Cobb, Det. Tara Milstead, Det. Shane Shane Tucker, Det. Jerry Nash, Deputy Caraway and CST Bonnie Baker from the Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office. George Bruno for ATF was there, as while as Sgt. Nesmith, Hoard, Hardy and Ward from the ECSO.

They found several guns in a downstairs safe. In the upstairs master bedroom, the investigators found a two pistols, .32cal Spain gun and a Ruger 9mm, under the mattress, a black cap in the closet and a pair of black gloves on the floor. There was also black clothing, a Grand casino shirt and Nike shorts, found in a garbage can on the driveway.

SEARCH GONZALEZ HOUSE, TOO

Scott also assisted Hardy, Baggett and O’Hara in searching the Patrick Gonzalez’s 1079 Sterling Point Place residence at little after midnight. Lt. J. McCurdy, CST Ferguson and Deputy Caraway from the Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office helped too.

No one was home. A copy of the search warrant along with an inventory of the items seized was left on the kitchen counter.

Copyright © 2009 Rick Outzen