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Maryland man pleads guilty to murdering his former boss during home invasion: Prosecutors

Billy Phillips pleaded guilty to murdering Geoffrey Burr Biddle. (Mugshot: Montgomery County State's Attorney's Office)

Billy Phillips pleaded guilty to murdering Geoffrey Burr Biddle. (Mugshot: Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office)

A Maryland man pleaded guilty on Friday to murdering a former boss by shooting him multiple times during a home invasion, authorities say. Police in Montgomery County, Maryland, said defendant Billy Phillips, 38, broke into the home of victim Geoffrey Burr Biddle, 66, but at some point, the men encountered each other. Phillips shot him multiple times, leaving him dead in the basement, officers said in an affidavit.

Charges are first-degree murder, home invasion, armed robbery, and use of a firearm in commission of felony. Prosecutors said they plan to seek the maximum penalty of life in prison plus an additional 65 years when Phillips is sentenced on March 10.

Police said that Phillips stole money and other items from Biddle, including his checkbook. The day of the murder was June 23, 2021, but Phillips pre-dated two checks for June 18 and 20 of that year, officers said. Then, he cashed them from June 23 to 25, authorities say.

“When he was arrested, the victim’s bank card and checkbook were in the defendant’s car,” prosecutors said.

Biddle was CEO for Payment Solutions Incorporated in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Phillips used to work there, but the company fired him “in May or June of 2020 due to lack of performance,” the affidavit states. According to cops, a close friend and former business partner of the victim described firing Phillips in April 2021 for fraud, “and shortly after firing him, discovered that he had stolen 3 checks from him, and deposited or cashed all 3 at Navy Federal Credit.”

The last anyone heard from Biddle was June 22, 2021. He had dinner with an employee and texted a new girlfriend. But, suspiciously, an author — ostensibly the victim but actually Phillips — sent several employees an email on the morning of June 23, stating he was going to be out of touch because of a family emergency. That was strange because Biddle was scheduled to take that day off so he could go on a date that morning with his new girlfriend. Police later also spoke to his daughter, who never conveyed having a family emergency that day.

Biddle did not show up to work on June 24, 2021. A man, that same close friend and former business partner, told police about checking on his home, only to discover that Biddle’s car was in the driveway with a flat front tire. Finding this to be suspicious, the man checked the front door. It was unlocked. He entered and searched for Biddle but could not find him. What he did find, however, was the missing man’s cell phone and wallet on the kitchen island. There were neither any credit cards nor cash in the wallet, which raised the friend’s eyebrows because Biddle usually kept about $100 in the wallet, according to authorities.

The friend did not check the basement, believing it to be locked. He reached back to an employee, asking him to call police. Officers arrived. They found Biddle on the basement floor, a large amount of blood on his body and throughout the basement.

“Numerous .22 caliber shell casings were located on the scene,” police said.

He had been shot multiple times.

Biddle’s new girlfriend said that she believed his final texts to her on the night of June 22, 2021 were from him. Cops believe he was probably dead at or before 9:30 a.m. on June 23.

“According to witnesses, Phillips had recently been in financial despair and was fired from his job in April 2021 for fraud,” prosecutors said.

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