Billy Phillips pleads guilty to murdering Geoffrey Biddle
A Maryland man on Friday pleaded guilty to murdering a former boss by shooting him multiple times during a home invasion, authorities say. Montgomery County, Maryland police said defendant Billy Phillips, 38, broke into the home of victim Geoffrey Burr Biddle, 66, but eventually the men encountered each other. Phillips shot him multiple times and left him dead in the basement. The officials announced this in an affidavit.
The charges include first degree murder, home invasion, armed robbery and use of a firearm in the commission of a crime. Prosecutors said they plan to seek the maximum sentence of life in prison plus an additional 65 years if Phillips is convicted on March 10.
Police said Phillips stole money and other items from Biddle, including his check book. The day of the murder was June 23, 2021, but Phillips dated two checks for June 18 and 20 of that year, officials said. He then cashed them in on June 23-25, authorities say.
“When he was arrested, the victim’s bank card and checkbook were in the defendant’s car,” prosecutors said.
Biddle was CEO of Payment Solutions Incorporated in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Phillips used to work there, but the company fired him “in May or June 2020 for poor performance,” the affidavit said. According to police, a close friend and former business partner of the victim described how he fired Phillips for fraud in April 2021, “and discovered shortly after his release that he had stolen three checks and deposited or cashed all three with Navy Federal Credit.”
The last time anyone heard from Biddle was June 22, 2021. He was having dinner with a staff member and texting a new friend. But suspiciously, an author — allegedly the victim, but actually Phillips — emailed several employees on the morning of June 23, stating that he could not be reached due to a family emergency. That was odd because Biddle was supposed to be taking the day off so he could go out with his new girlfriend that morning. Police later also spoke to his daughter, who never had a family emergency that day.
Biddle did not show up for work on June 24, 2021. A man, the same close friend and former business partner, told police to check his house only to find Biddle’s car parked in the driveway with a flat front tire. The man found this suspicious and checked the front door. It was unlocked. He entered and looked for Biddle but couldn’t find him. What he did find, however, was the missing person’s cell phone and wallet on the kitchen island. There were no credit cards or cash in the wallet, which raised the friend’s eyebrows because Biddle typically kept around $100 in the wallet, according to authorities.
The friend didn’t check the basement because he thought it was locked. He turned to an employee and asked him to call the police. officers came. They found Biddle on the basement floor, a large amount of blood on his body and throughout the basement.
“Numerous .22 caliber shell casings were found at the scene,” police said.
He had been shot multiple times.
Biddle’s new girlfriend said she believed his last texts to her on the night of June 22, 2021 were from him. Police believe he was probably dead at or before 9:30 am on June 23.
“According to witnesses, Phillips was recently in financial distress and was fired from his job in April 2021 for fraud,” prosecutors said.
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https://lawandcrime.com/crime/maryland-man-pleads-guilty-to-murdering-his-former-boss-during-home-invasion-prosecutors/ Billy Phillips pleads guilty to murdering Geoffrey Biddle