Weldon gets 31 years for manslaughter

By By Johnathan Manning / American Press

A Pitkin man was sentenced to 31 years in prison for killing his alleged mistress.

Billie Joe Weldon, 38, was convicted of manslaughter in September in the August 2009 death of 27-year-old Kimberly Ann Stephens.

Judge C. Kerry Anderson sentenced Weldon on Monday to 38 years in prison with seven years suspended. Weldon is then to serve

five years probation.

Prosecutors and defense attorneys alike

agreed at Weldon’s three-week long trial that he and Stephens were

involved in a relationship

that traded sex for drugs.

Weldon faced a second-degree murder charge. Jurors found him guilty, 10-2, in 2 1/2 hours, but opted for the lesser charge

of manslaughter.

Stephens’ body was found Aug. 26, 2009 in a vacant lot on Granberry Road.

She had been beaten to death and her body dragged out of view of the road. Prosecutors said her head was bashed into a concrete

slab, she was beaten with a crescent wrench and her throat was cut.ß