Knoxville man charged with murdering his mother in 1986

7:07 PM, Apr 13, 2012   |    comments
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  • Bobbie Lou Hill
  • Billy Ray Hill, 44-year-old Accused of first degree murder./courtesy Knox County Sheriff's Office

A Knoxville man has been charged in the murder of his mother 25 years after the crime.

According to court records, a Knox County grand jury indicted 44-year-old Billy Ray Hill on first degree murder charges Tuesday in the death of Bobbie Lou Hill in September 1986.

Jail records show Hill, who lived on A Better Tomorrow Dr., was booked Friday.  His bond was set at $500,000.

Hill was just 19 years old when his mother was killed.  Records show that Hill has been in and out of trouble with the law for years, mostly on drug and DUI charges.  He was convicted in 1991 on aggravated assault charges.

Family members tell 10News that  they are excited about the news of the charges, and that many of them had always suspected Hill in his mother's death.

"The son was the one that killed her.  I mean, that's what they told the family from the first," said Bobbie Lou's cousin Mary Branam.

But police could not prove Billy Ray Hill Junior killed his mother.

While he racked up an extensive criminal record, the governor and family offered rewards for information about the murder.

"She would want justice to be done, regardless of who it was. And she would want compassion and forgiveness. That's just the kind of person she was," Branam said, describing how Bobby Lou would react to the charges.

The Knoxville Police Department did not want to comment on the case Friday.  A spokesman said there would be a press conference on Monday.

Knox County District Attorney General Randy Nichols released the following statement about the arrest:

"I am proud of these police, this is a good piece of work. I mean, a 1986 case. It sends a good message that we don't forget about murder cases. They never end. Jeff Day, the police detective who worked it, I am just so proud of him."

Tonight on the Nightbeat, we'll talk to the sister and oldest brother of Bobby Lou about their emotional day.

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