Friend describes turbulent relationship between homicide victim and suspect

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- A friend of a homicide victim is speaking out about the minutes before her murder and what he says was a very abusive past with the suspect.

Janet Billings was shot and killed in a KCK Lowe's parking lot last weekend. Until Friday night, we hadn't heard what her connection was with the suspect, George Lingenfelser. But now, a friend is speaking up and says the suspect had been abusing Billings for months in an interview you'll only see from FOX 4's Megan Brilley.

He didn't want his identity shown, but says he wants everyone to know there was a very specific reason his friend Billings met the suspect in the parking lot last weekend.

"One thing about Janet, she had a big heart," the friend said.

He says Billings never turned anyone away and with an open heart, she welcomed Lingenfelser into her life.

"He seemed like a decent guy at that point in time. No issues. Pretty well received," the friend said.

He said Billings and Lingenfelser dated for several months and even moved in together. The relationship was going well, but soon he says Lingenfelser became abusive.

"She had a black eye. Marks on her throat. He had tried to beat her up and choke her out," the friend explained.

He said Billings immediately broke up with him, but remained in his life as a friend. Lingenfelser had a son she grew close to.

"It drew her back. He needed some support and she loved that little kid," the friend said.

Things seemed to die down, until last Saturday night. He said Lingenfelser and Billings were at a Tonganoxie bar with a group of friends.

"He had put her hands on her. Choked her," he said.

He then said Billings decided that night she had to completely cut ties. She decided to meet Lingenfelser in the Lowe's parking lot to get her belongings back from him.

"She called me that morning. She asked me if I would go with her. Because she was scared. She didn't want to be alone with him," the friend said.

He said Billings decided to go anyway. She thought since it was a public place, she would be safe. But it was in the parking lot, police say Lingenfelser shot and killed her.

"It was a shock. I remember thinking, 'no, you're not telling me the truth.' Stop joking is what I said. It was real," the friend said.

He said he wonders every day if things would've been different, had he gone with Billings to Lowe's, but he believes Lingenfelser was going to kill her in the parking lot, no matter what.

"He had every intention of doing exactly what he wanted to do that day. There's no insanity plea or crime of passion, this was an intentional act," he said.

He told FOX 4 that Lingenfelser borrowed the rifle he allegedly used from his brother and told him he was using it go hunting. Lingenfelser is charged with first-degree murder in Billings' death.