A Grayson County grand jury has indicted two men in connection to the 2002 murder of Kyle Brandon Billings.
Billings was found dead on Oct. 6, 2002. He was found shot in his pickup truck on Rockhouse Lane. He was 18.
Chad Allen Reeves, 33, and George Albert Harper III, 40, have been indicted for murder and using a firearm in commission of a felony. The grand jury began meeting in 2011 to consider charges for Billings’ murder.
Reeves and Harper are currently incarcerated on unrelated charges. Reeves is in federal custody in Lexington, Kentucky, for a 2006 methamphetamine distribution conviction. Harper is incarcerated in Virginia at Dillwyn Correctional Center. Harper's probation was revoked in August 2012. He has several convictions for drug possession, assault, and firearms charges. His release date is currently June 2, 2015.
It’s not clear yet when either suspect will stand trial for Billings' murder.
Billings was a senior at Galax High School and played tackle for the school's football team. The area where he was found shot was an area where teenagers used to hang out. Billings, who had just turned 18 the day before his death, may have been in the Rockhouse Lane area celebrating his birthday.
Here is the news release:
A Special Investigative Grand Jury convened by the Grayson County Circuit Court returned separate indictments charging that Chad Allen Reeves, a white male, aged 33 years, and George Albert Harper, III, a white male, aged 40 years, did “with malice aforethought, kill and murder” Kyle Brandon Billings at some time between October 5, 2002, and October 6, 2002. Both individuals are also charged separately with using a firearm in the commission of a felony. Billings body was found in the afternoon of October 6, 2002, by passers-by near New River and the cul-de-sac of Rock House
Lane, in Grayson County.
His killing sparked a years long search for anyone responsible for the killing or for information concerning his murder. The Sheriff’s Office of Grayson County coordinated the investigation, and was assisted by the Virginia State Police, other Virginia Sheriff’s
Departments and law enforcement agencies from several other states. Over the years, those departments conducted voluminous interviews, and searched for evidence and witnesses related to the crime. With the development of new leads and information recently coming to light, a Special Investigative Grand Jury was requested by the Commonwealth’s Attorney and impaneled by the Judge of the Grayson County Circuit Court on March 24, 2011. All proceedings by that Grand Jury are sealed and are only available for inspection in limited instances by Court order and pursuant to statute.
The direct indictments were returned on January 3, 2014, after almost three years of meetings, testimony, investigation and deliberation by the Grand Jury, and the indictments remained sealed until steps could be taken to secure the detention of the named defendants. On January 10, 2014, Grayson County Sheriff Richard Vaughan and Grayson County Commonwealth’s Attorney Douglas Vaught, forwarded certified copies of the indictments, along with a request that the indictments be filed as detainers against Reeves and Harper by the Federal Bureau of Prisons and the Virginia Department of Corrections, respectively. Both individuals are currently incarcerated on unrelated convictions.
Because Reeves is in Federal custody, outside Virginia, the Virginia charges will not be tried until the completion of his Federal sentence or other special arrangements are made. Reeves would then be returned to Virginia to stand trial on the murder and use of a firearm indictments. Harper is in custody of the Virginia Department of Corrections, but it is uncertain as to when he will be served and when he would be transferred to the
Regional Jail in preparation for trial.
Every unlawful malicious homicide in Virginia is presumed to be murder in the second degree, and the Commonwealth has the burden of elevating it to first degree by proof of premeditation or other statutory enhancing factors. The general indictment for “with malice aforethought, kill and murder” allows the Commonwealth to introduce such evidence which it believes would support a murder in the first degree conviction. The
Defendant may present evidence that may be offered to establish innocence, or negate the premeditation, or the presence of malice in the homicide thereby making it a crime of second degree murder or manslaughter.
This press release is a joint release from Grayson County Commonwealth’s Attorney Douglas Vaught and Grayson County Sheriff Richard Vaughan.
In the interest of preserving a neutral jury pool for trial of these cases, no additional comments or evidence will be released prior to the trial of the cases.
No trial date has been set. It is not known when a date may be set.