Knoxville man sentenced to 24 years in prison for 1986 murder of

Knoxville man sentenced to 24 years in prison for 1986 murder of his mother

Billy Ray Hill (source: Knox County Sheriff's Office) Billy Ray Hill (source: Knox County Sheriff's Office)
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - A Knoxville man was sentenced Friday to 24 years in prison for the 1986 murder of his mother. 

"She was a faithful friend and the best sister ever,” said Joyce Long, the sister of murder victim Bobbie Lou Hill.

Previous story: Knoxville man convicted of murdering his mother in 1986

Billy Ray Hill was convicted in March of second degree murder in the beating and stabbing death of his mother Bobbie Lou Hill. Her body was found in September 1986 at her home in West Knoxville's Cumberland Estates. Billy Ray Hill was 19 years old at the time.

Hill was charged in April 2012 as a result of new witness information.

Previous story: Knoxville man indicted in mother's 1986 murder

“Our prayers were answered. We waited a long time for this day. Just thank God for letting us live to see it,” said Long.

During the sentencing hearing, both the family of Bobbie Lou Hill and the defendant Billy Ray Hill were given a chance make a statement. At one point Billy Ray Hill turned to his family and spoke.

“My family was lied to. I did not kill my mother. Your honor, I ask for the low end,” said Hill.

Records show Billy Hill has a long criminal history. There were drug and weapon charges before his mother's slaying. After she was killed, the offenses include assault and theft.

The judge took Hill's criminal history into account when deciding the sentence length.

“In my mind, the criminal history and the aggravated assault greatly outweighs the mitigation for his youth,” said Judge Steven Sword.

The family of Bobbie Lou Hill wished Billy Hill would have been given longer sentence but say they are satisfied with the judge's decision.

“It's been a long journey. It's been very painful. It's been hard to wait but we knew we knew one day it would happen,” said Long.

Sword said Hill can only get up to a 15 percent reduction in sentence for good behavior.

Hill's attorney plans to file a motion for a new trial.
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