Three plead guilty in 2015 murder

Published 7:40 pm Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Gabriel Antonio “Tony” Love, Dontavious LeKeith Billingsley and Zaquan Labrenta Hargett pled guilty Monday at Troup County Superior Court for their role in a 2015 shooting that resulted in the death of a West Point man.

Love was the alleged shooter in the case and was sentenced to life in prison, Billingsley was sentenced 35 years to serve 18 years and Hargett was sentence to 20 years to serve eight years.

Hargett’s sentence was for burglary in the first degree, according to Senior Assistant District Attorney Melissa Himes. She said Billingsley was sentenced to 20 years to serve 18 for burglary,  followed by 15 years probation on an aggravated assault charge.

Himes said the men intended to rob 67-year-old Phillip Huguley, a wheelchair bound West Point resident. Police found Huguley deceased in his home on May 9, 2015, Himes said. He had been shot in the back and also beat on the forehead.

“They determined there was a cellphone, a gun, a necklace, some cash and morphine pills missing from his residence,” Himes said. “The entry into the home had been made through his bedroom window by pushing the air conditioner and the window actually into the bedroom. Ultimately, law enforcement discovered that on the window, Tony Love had left a palm print that was identified by an expert, and he had also cut his hand and left some blood on the window, and that DNA was identified by the GBI crime lab as being that of Gabriel Love’s. Defendant Billingsley also left fingerprints on that same window.”

Himes said later on May 9, Love and Hargett were seen offering morphine pills for sale.

“At some point, both of them were arrested. Love and Billingsley were both arrested and charged with his murder,” Himes said. “Subsequently, defendant Billingsley wanted to speak to law enforcement and quite frankly what he indicated was that it was actually just eating him up.”

Billingsley talked with the district attorney’s office and admitted his involvement and that Love and Hargett were also involved, according to Himes.

“Basically, he explained that he went there just to rob Mr. Huguley, and they tried the front door and it was locked, so they went around to a side window,” she said.

“Billingsley admitted that he and Love pushed on the window and the air conditioner and it fell through, and then Billingsley boosted Love into the window. And that he and Hargett remained outside and when the gunshot was fired, or when Mr. Huguley was shot, he and Hargett took off running. Hargett got a short distance away and said ‘I dropped my phone.’ He went back, but Billingsley kept going.”

Himes said there were no gang motives in the case.

Billingsley knew Huguley because he worked around his house and Love had borrowed money from him from time to time, according to Himes.

“Phillip Huguley had family members here yesterday, and certainly, I spoke with them, and this is a good disposition, and we’re satisfied with how it worked out,” Himes said. “I always appreciate the efforts of law enforcement in these cases, and particularly investigator Shannon Duncan worked hard on this case. She really had a heart for this case, and so I really appreciate working with her on it.”