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Public Views Billings Murder Tapes

Why some wanted to watch the security video and view crime scene photos.
/ Source: WPMI-TV

(PENSACOLA, Fla.) September 1 - I've never actually seen a murder and I'm hoping maybe I'll learn something from it, says Mary Sheppard of Milton. That would be a weird statement coming from most of us, but for Sheppard, it makes sense. She's a recent criminal justice graduate. I really want to get into CSI. That's why I want to watch the videos, see maybe how they collect evidence, says Sheppard. Originally, the state attorney says 13 people signed up for Tuesday's viewings, but only four followed through. State Attorney Bill Eddins has a theory why so many canceled. The people were curious. They wanted to know, didn't realize how widely publicized it was going to be and once that publicity occurred their curiosity was satisfied, says Eddins. What Local 15's Mike Rush witnessed last week were the last desperate moments of Byrd and Melanie's lives. Dark, grainy video in the couple's living room, showed a little boy running in the room followed by Byrd and then Melanie from a different direction. Byrd put his hands up. Two masked men appeared from behind him and apparently shot him in the legs. Melanie appeared to be cowering down trying to protect her child. Then the parents were brought into their bedroom, out of the camera's eye, where they were murdered. Sheppard's mother, through her daughter's studies, believes she can handle it. I went through some videos and information and books and so I've seen pictures, says Donna Sheppard. Members of the public can request to see the materials any time. Like the media, members of the public have escorts from the state attorney's office and are watched closely to make sure they don't copy anything.

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