03-16-05 – Convicted of murder in 2000, Billy Downey could be a free man come next February. Downey was convicted of killing Robert Owens, 21, inside Owens’ Healdton home after breaking in and stealing from the house.
Initially sentenced to 40 years in prison, an appeal reduced that charge to 15. But because of good behavior, the Oklahoma Department of Corrections says Downey will be free no later than December of 2006. Since Downey committed the crime before 2001, the law that requires criminals to serve 85% of their sentence for a heinous crime does not apply to him.
The DA’s office is not giving in, trying to get Downey’s release date pushed back as far as possible.