Man who robbed 85-year-old has murder convictions, prosecutors say

Billy Joe Farra   MONTGOMERY COUNTY JAIL
Billy Joe Farra MONTGOMERY COUNTY JAIL

A man who was sentenced to more than 50 years in prison in connection to the robbery, kidnapping and assault of an 85-year-old Miamisburg man was twice convicted of murder in Kentucky as a youth, prosecutors said in court records.

Billy Joe Farra, 35, was convicted of two counts of murder, two counts of aggravated burglary and two counts of robbery in Kentucky, according to a prosecutor’s sentencing memorandum filed in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court. Prosecutors said the two murders took place in 1998 within a 24-hour time period.

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“The circumstances of those convictions are jarring,” the sentencing memorandum says. “Both murders involved breaking into the home of a victim who was alone. Both victims were in their 50′s (54 and 57). Both victims were ambushed, beaten and murdered. In both cases, the defendant ransacked the house and stole anything of value. The defendant was sentenced through the juvenile justice system.”

Farra is now set to spend decades in the Ohio prison system after he was sentenced to between 55 and 60 and a half years in prison in connection to the January robbery where he was convicted of breaking into an 85-year-old’s home with his girlfriend Jessica Boomershine. Farra is accused of waking the man up by shining a flashlight into the man’s eyes and then grabbing the man’s gun and firing a shot near the man’s head.

“(The man) was then thrown on the floor and a mask was placed over his head,” the sentencing memorandum says. “Defendant and Boomershine then ransacked the main floor of the house looking for any valuables. (The man) testified that, when defendant wanted information as to locations of valuables, he would shove the gun into (the man’s) neck or head.”

Prosecutors said Farra and Boomershine then forced the man onto the floorboard of the backseat of his car where he was driven to his bank and was forced to give up his pin number at the ATM.

After this, prosecutors said the man attempted to wrestle the gun away from Farra, and Farra badly injured the man’s arms to the point that his arms were raw.

“A short while later, the vehicle stopped again, and defendant forced (the man) into the trunk of his car. (The man) testified that the vehicle stopped again later that morning. He heard a door open and a door close. (The man) waited long enough that he felt his attackers had gone, then pulled the trunk release button,” the sentencing memorandum says.

Prosecutors said Farra left the man for dead at a Rumpke Recycling Center.

A trial against Boomershine is set to begin this month.

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The state finished its sentencing memorandum by saying that Farra shows a disregard for people and is a “dangerous, demented individual."

“In many ways, it seems like defendant sees his victims as a way to a paycheck, or as a way to get drugs, not as human beings," the sentencing memorandum says. "In the prior murder convictions, defendant’s actions were shockingly similar to that of the facts in the case. In all three cases, defendant sought out a victim who lived alone, he sought out victims that were older or could not defend themselves, he brutalized the victims, stole their property and in all three cases, he left his victims for dead.”

In a defense memorandum, attorney Carl Goraleski asked the court to sentence Farra to 15-20 years in prison and to give the man a chance to rejoin society and become a productive, law-abiding citizen.

“This court has only sketchy information about who Billy Farra is,” the defense memorandum says. “True enough, a person can be known through their actions, and the actions that Billy was convicted of suggests his rehabilitation is a tall order. Moreover, the records supplied to the court of his involvement in violent acts as a juvenile 20 years ago add to that argument. However, counsel urges this court to consider what the records show. Billy Farra is a product of the criminal justice system. With no stable home life, being raised by individuals who apparently saw lawlessness as a way of life, is it any wonder he’s made the choices he has?”

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