Man sentenced to 8 years for domestic assault; murder, kidnapping charges dismissed
LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - The KCBD Investigative Team has new details on a case we have followed for more than three years.
A Lubbock County District Judge sentenced 45-year-old Billy Jack Limbaugh Jr. to eight years in prison after he pleaded guilty to domestic assault with a prior conviction.
As part of his plea deal, five other charges, including murder, were dismissed.
In 2014, KCBD ran a number of stories on unsolved murders in and around Lubbock County.
One of the cases we focused on was the 2008 murder of Monica Adams.
While we were looking into her case, police made an arrest.
Officers arrested Limbaugh for Adams' murder and a handful of other violent crimes including aggravated kidnapping and aggravated sexual assault.
"Just because someone gets charged with an offense does not mean they are guilty, and the evidence particularly in the Monica Adams case was extremely weak," said Fred Stangl, Limbaugh's defense attorney.
We spoke with Stangl immediately following Limbaugh's guilty plea.
Stangl said had the state wanted to go to trial on Adams' murder, they would have been ready.
"In my opinion, after evaluating the cases, the state had serious issues," Stangl said.
It is something we asked Lubbock County Assistant Criminal District Attorney Sunshine Stanek about.
"Over the years, a number of things happened, events had occurred that directly affected the availability/credibility of some of the victims and witnesses in some of his cases," Stanek said.
In January 2008, police responded to the 2700 block of northeast Loop 289 for a report of a rape.
When police arrived, they reported finding a woman naked with a gash on her head.
She told police a man had forced her to perform sexual acts, tied up her hands, beat her with a belt, forced himself on her, smashed a beer bottle over her head and threatened her life.
The woman escaped and called 911.
Investigators collected DNA evidence, but were unable to identify a suspect.
Eight months later, in August of 2008, police responded to reports of a body found in a field off of North MLK Blvd. and East Bradley Street.
That body was later identified as 29-year-old Monica Adams.
She had been missing for about five days.
Police collected DNA samples from items surrounding Adams' body, but like in the previous case, they were unable to identify a suspect.
Almost six years later, in May of 2014, police were called to the 4200 block of Idalou road in reference to an aggravated kidnapping and robbery.
A woman told police she had been punched and tossed out of a man's car.
Police said that woman identified Limbaugh out of a photo spread.
Law enforcement told us DNA evidence collected during during this investigation revealed Limbaugh was the source of the DNA in all three of those cases.
"For the people who are watching, who are saying, 'Where is the justice for Monica Adams and the other victims?' Could additional charges come?" we asked Stanek.
"Whether or not there is ever additional charges on Billy Limbaugh, I can't predict the future. When a case is resolved, we would have to have new evidence of something or some other crime to pursue additional charges on him," Stanek said.
Stanek said law enforcement worked hard on these cases and wants to emphasis the plea deal is in no way a reflection of their work.
She also wanted to thank Adams' family for their patience and graciousness.
RELATED STORY: The Case Against Billy Jack Limbaugh, Jr.
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