July 16, 2013
Shortly before 8 pm CDT, on July 16, 2013, 36-year-old John Manuel Quintanilla, Jr. was executed at the Walls Unit of the Huntsville State Penitentiary in Huntsville, Texas. John was executed for the murder of 60-year-old Victor Billings, which occurred on November 22, 2002, in Victoria, Texas. The murder occurred during a robbery. John spent the last nine years of his life on death row.
On November 22, 2002, at 6:52 pm, three men – John Quintanilla, Jr., Jeffrey Bibb, and Rodney Rodriguez – entered a gambling room at the Action Amusement Center in Victoria, Texas. They were each wearing a mask and carrying a rifle. The masked men instructed the patrons to remain seated and hand over their money. Victor Billings, a former Jackson County Sheriff’s deputy, attempted to disarm Quintanilla. During the struggle, Victor was shot several times in the chest. Additionally, a woman was also shot in the foot. The woman survived her injuries, Victor did not.
On January 14, 2003, Quintanilla was arrested for an unrelated murder. While in custody, Quintanilla was questioned and he eventually confessed to the murder and robbery at Action Amusement Center. Since then, Quintanilla has claimed that he only made the confession because he believed his sister would be killed if he did not confess. Quintanilla has also alleged that he did kill Victor.
Prior to John’s arrest, he had been convicted on two counts of burglary of a habitation and engaging in organized criminal activity. John received a 10 year sentence for those crimes. John was born in Calhoun County, Texas, and completed school up through grade 8. John had previously worked as a laborer.
Please pray for peace for the family of Victor Billings. Please pray for peace for anyone else that suffered at the hands of John Quintanilla. Please pray for strength for the family of John.