Amidst bizarre stories of contract hits, drug running, and Mexican gangs all involved in the killing of the Billings' who owned this sprawling home, is this stranger than fiction tale...
A bizarre scheme
One unexplained blemish on Billings' past involves a bizarre scheme he started early this decade that aimed to make millions by apparently copyrighting his children's names.
About 2003, he began filing dozens of confusing documents that attempted to copyright his children's names, then demanded millions of dollars for copyright infringements when government agencies used those names.
The documents, obtained from the Escambia County Clerk of Court and the Florida Department of Children and Families, reference "genocide acts," maritime law and "corporate fictions.'' He signed one purported affidavit "Byrd Billings, Agent, Attorney in Fact, With the Autograph, Non-Domestic."
DCF attorney Katie George said every time the agency addressed a letter to Billings that included his children's names, he would reply with an invoice demanding millions of dollars in copyright infringement.
Generally, he demanded silver coins or federal reserve notes of equal value. After nearly two years, Billings began addressing invoices to DCF employees at their homes, and a DCF lawyer sent Billings a sharply worded letter warning him that legal action against him was a possibility.
"At no time in any of your correspondence have you made a plain demand for damages under a clear and cognizable theory of liability," Assistant District Legal Council Richard Cserep wrote in a Dec. 9, 2005, letter.
After that letter, Billings stopped sending invoices.
When asked if she was aware of Byrd Billings' copyright claims, Ashley said he had mentioned copyrighting the children's names to her but said the goal was to protect their privacy.