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Billings Gets 30 Year Prison Sentence for Knife Attack on Wife and Meth Case

March 30, 2020
By: Dwayne Page

A man convicted of attempted first degree murder in a 2017 knife attack on his wife is going to prison.

During a hearing this morning (Monday) in DeKalb County Criminal Court, 32 year old Andrew Billings received an 18 year sentence for the attempted murder offense plus a 12 year term after entering a plea to initiation of a process to manufacture methamphetamine in a separate case. The two sentences are to run consecutively for a total of 30 years. Billings must serve at least 30% of the term before he is eligible for parole and he has been given credit for time already served. Billings is also to pay a fine of $52,000 including $50,000 for the attempted first degree murder and $2,000 for the meth offense.

The hearing, conducted by Judge Gary McKenzie, was closed to the public under a Tennessee Supreme Court order which applies to all courts due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Billings stood trial on the attempted first degree murder charge and was found guilty by a jury panel of 7 men and 5 women on August 14, 2019. Along with the guilty verdict, the jury assessed a $50,000 fine.
Since his conviction, Billings has been behind bars in the Robertson County Jail. He will now be transferred to the Tennessee Department of Corrections.

Billings was accused of slitting the throat of his wife, Adriana with a long kitchen knife before leaving her by the side of Allen Ferry Road in the Ragland Bottom area on April 4, 2017.

Although Billings did not deny the knife attack, his defense was that he was on meth at the time and that he took out his rage on Adriana thinking she had turned over to authorities a recording of a statement he made implicating himself in a meth case.

Billings’ attorney Brandon Cox argued during the trial that Billings’ use of meth in the days leading up to the assault made him paranoid and agitated and rendered him incapable of premeditation. State prosecutors countered that Billings’ actions proved that he had planned the attack on Adriana and that his use of meth could not be an excuse for committing such a horrific crime.

As an A felony the range of punishment for this offense is from 15-25 years.

Andrew and Adriana Billings first made news in November, 2016 when they fled to Michigan with their 8 month old child during a wreck investigation on Sparta Highway in which a meth lab (quart jar of meth oil) was found in their vehicle. Their departure prompted a TBI Endangered Child Alert and they were located later. For that incident, Andrew Billings was indicted in November 2017 for aggravated child abuse and initiation of a process intended to result in the manufacture of methamphetamine. Although charged with Andrew at the time in the meth and child abuse case, Adriana was never indicted by the Grand Jury for the crimes. Billings’ sentence in the meth case today (Monday) stemmed from that incident.

Familiar Local Landmark for 70 Years Torn Down

March 30, 2020
By: Dwayne Page

It had been part of the Smithville landscape for 70 years but now the building that once served as home to a popular service station and a restaurant is no more.

Demolition of the structure, which many will remember as Kent’s Texaco and the Sunrise Grill, was completed over the weekend. The property, located at the corner of Highway 70 (East Broad Street) and Highway 56 (South Congress Boulevard, is currently for sale by owners Kerry (Bebo) and Kevin Robinson.

The business, started in 1950 by Erbie Robinson and his brother-in-law W.H. “Dub” Bing , was known as Bing & Robinson’s Service Station. It originally began as a Sinclaire gas station but over the years changed to Arco, Texaco, and Marathon.

After Robinson and Bing opened the service station, a restaurant adjoining the business on the same property soon started. Known as the Sunrise Grill, the restaurant, operated by Warren and Betty Smith, became one of the most popular eateries in town. It remained in business for almost two decades.

After purchasing Bing’s interest in the business, Robinson continued operating the service station for several years until he turned it over to his son Kent in the 1960’s. Kent’s brother Kerry (Bebo) had worked in the family business for a while until he began a partnership with Billy Hendrixson to start a successful convenience store, known today as Kwik-N-Ezy Exxon, which is located across the highway from the service station property. After Kent’s death in 2005 , Darrell Gill leased the Robinson property and relocated his already successful business known as DeKalb Tire & Service there from West Broad Street. A couple of years ago Gill relocated his operation to property he acquired on East Broad Street and changed the name to Gill Automotive.

One Airlifted After Friday Night Crash

March 30, 2020
By: Dwayne Page

A young woman was airlifted after a two vehicle crash Friday night on Cookeville Highway near the Phillipi Church.

20 year old Chloe Cantrell of Smithville was flown by helicopter ambulance to Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville.

According to Trooper Jonathan Burke of the Tennessee Highway Patrol, 57 year old Douglas Judkins of Smithville, driving a 2000 Chevy Silverado north on Highway 56, crossed into the southbound lane and struck Cantrell’s 2016 Hyundai Veloster.

Cantrell was treated at the scene by DeKalb EMS and taken to a helicopter landing zone set up nearby by members of the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department.

Judkins later went by private vehicle to the hospital.

He was cited for failure to maintain lane of travel.

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