4 sentenced in deaths of Florida Panhandle couple

AP News
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Posted: Aug 04, 2011 6:17 PM
4 sentenced in deaths of Florida Panhandle couple

Four suspects who dressed in like ninjas during an attempted robbery and killing of a Florida couple in 2009 have been sentenced to more than 15 years each after they cooperated with prosecutors.

The men were sentenced Thursday for their roles in the deaths of Byrd and Melanie Billings.

The four testified or gave evidence used against three other men who were convicted. One man was sentenced to death and two others were given life sentences.

Prosecutors said the seven men dressed in black, ninja-style garb and drove to the wealthy couple's home at night with a plan to steal a safe they mistakenly thought had more than $1 million in cash. The men shot and killed the couple while their nine adopted, special-needs children were in the home.