It was a masterful stroke for the prosecution team of John Molchan and Bill Eddins to have the Billings’ daughter, Ashley Markham, testify first. They even figured out a way to get her closer to the jury by having her stand in front of them and point out the house on an aerial photo. After she testified, Markham was allowed to stay in the audience.
On the other hand Patrick Gonzalez is alone. Neither his mother, Terri Poff, or his wife Tabatha stayed in the courtroom after they testified.
Eddins said that Patrick knew Bud from the car business, but made it sound casual. Markham could only remember one meeting between the two. Tabatha said at that meeting that Bud gave them $5000 for their charity Project FightBack.
Bud knew Patrick much better than that. Cab Tice has talked about in his deposition and on television. My sources tell me that Patrick was a frequent patron at Bud’s strip club, The Backseat Lounge. He worked for many of the dealers in Car City at one time or another. They knew each other better than just casually.
There was no mention of the briefcase that both Markham and Tice told investigators had anywhere from $20K to $100K in it any time. It was Billings’s getaway money, according to my sources. There was $100K+ found in the upstairs safe – which Markham called “cash reserves from the business” that her mother kept at home. That safe was never found by Patrick and his crew.
Neither Tony Eisa or Lonnie Smith were very credible in their testimony. They weren’t cross-examined by the defense. Smith is the one who said that an acquaintance stopped him in Mesquite Charlie’s and warned him about testifying against Cab Tice.
Those of his media covering the trial wished we could have asked Eisa and Smith a few questions.
Frederick Thornton. who has already pleaded guilty to robbery and second degree murder, said that they had a diagram of the home and someone was supposed to turn off the surveillance system. Who? Thornton will be cross-examined today.