According to the State’s Attorney’s Office, Billy Phillips was fired from his job in April 2021 for fraud. Several months later, on June 23, 2021, Phillips, who was reportedly in "financial despair" after getting fired from Payment Solutions Inc., initially went to Geoffrey Biddle’s house to steal checks.
When Phillips ran into his former boss, Biddle, he reportedly "terrorized" him in the basement and fatally shot him four times, including once in the head. Phillips also "disabled Biddle’s car to prevent him from trying to escape."
The next day, June 24, 2021, Biddle was reported missing after he hadn’t shown up for work, "which was extremely unlike him."
Biddle’s close friend and former business partner, Stephen Willard, searched Biddle’s home on Windsor Lane and noticed his car in the driveway had a flat tire, which he thought was "suspicious," according to Phillips’ affidavit.
When Willard went inside the unlocked home, he noticed Biddle was missing credit cards and cash in his wallet even though "Biddle usually kept around $100."
Willard reportedly left the home without checking the basement because "he thought the door was locked," and he had someone call police to investigate further.
During a search of Biddle’s basement, Montgomery County Police found his body on the ground with a "large amount of blood." Police also recovered .22 caliber shell casings.
Biddle’s death was ruled a homicide.
Investigators searched Biddle’s cellphone and noticed a "one-minute call to SunTrust bank," as well as an outgoing email to his employees, "which stated that Biddle was having a family emergency and would be out of touch."
Employees found the email "suspicious" because Biddle wasn’t supposed to be working on the day the email was sent, June 23, 2021.
The affidavit says a Payment Solutions employee who had access to Biddle’s accounts looked into Biddle’s bank and "noticed a check from Biddle’s personal SunTrust account made out to Billy Phillips" on June 20, 2021.
The signature on the check was reportedly forged.
Another similar check made out to Billy Phillips was dated June 17, 2021, in the amount of $9,500.
After the shooting, Phillips reportedly predated the stolen checks for June 20, 2021, and June 18, 2021, before cashing them in on the day of the fatal shooting, as well as June 25, 2021.
The State’s Attorney’s Office said police found the victim’s bank card and checkbook in Phillips’ car when he was arrested.
In February, Phillips pleaded guilty to first-degree murder, home invasion, armed robbery, and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony. The State’s Attorney’s Office announced May 1 that Phillips was sentenced to life plus an additional 65 years.
In a statement, State’s Attorney John McCarthy said, "This case is among the most evil that we have seen. The murder of Geoffrey Biddle was calculated and brutal. The defendant had a history of escalating criminal behavior, and we thank Judge Smith for this sentence which will ensure he no longer poses a threat to the community."