Letter received from Billy Conn Jr., January 06, 2021
“They moved me to a different dorm today.” Hopefully, that means I might be able to get to work soon. The guy that was in this cell like two days ago died in here. Creepy huh? I guess he killed himself. Just thought I would share that, I don't know why, its just kinda messed up though. Well talk to you later, Billy.”

After reading last week's article, it must be hard to imagine the letter above came from the same little boy who bought his mom a “big diamond ring” with money he received for candy one afternoon in Metamora. Regardless, the truth is Billy Conn Jr. is sitting in a cell at Bunker Hill Prison serving what could be a life sentence after being convicted of delivering methamphetamine amount of 10 or more grams and a habitual offender. Conn has accepted there are consequences for poor choices but does feel a 50-year sentence is excessive.

I also mentioned the conversation I had with Billy that prefaced this series last week. I had one condition he had to meet even to continue conversing with him; don't lie to me and don't withhold information from me. I assured Billy if he did, I was done. One time, Billy broke my condition, and I didn't hear from him for about a week.

We reviewed his criminal history first, which, although not proud of everything discussed, Conn was straight with me on every question I asked. What I asked him about next didn't receive the same cooperation as the first question, his childhood. We had mapped out the criminal timeline, but when did the train go off the tracks before Billy's first documented incident with meth and the police in 2013? I didn't know what I expected to find in his childhood stories, but I knew the whole story had to be covered carefully. Billy was not so sure. A few questions in, and he became anxious and standoffish. “I am not looking for pity,” Conn wrote. “I don't see how any of this matters.”

Because of the nature of the events in Billy's personal life and criminal history, they are broken down in the timelines instead of explaining them through writing, to avoid misrepresentation.

1984 – Born.
1988/89 – Conn was exposed to heavy alcohol and marijuana use; Dad and Mom divorced.
1991 – Conn's mother remarries. Conn's stepfather was an addict and abusive towards Conn and his mother. Conn's mother never abused drugs. Conn slept with a machete or my 410 shotgun to avoid problems with his step-father overnight.
1995/1996 – Starts using drugs, first marijuana then heavy meth use began.
1996 – Conn's first encounter with the police for he thinks fighting but doesn't remember for sure. Billy's dad went to county jail for two and a half years. At this time, Billy remembers staying with his mom on weekends and hanging around with his grandpa.
1998 – At 14, Conn received his first official charges; Conn dropped out of Franklin County High School and did not complete his freshman year.
1998/1999 – Conn was sent to boys' school/juvenile detention. First Logansport, then to North Central. Conn said this is where he learned to fight. To keep the food provided or use a towel when you got out of the shower, you would have to fight to keep your portion. Billy was smaller in stature, but said he realized then he would have to toughen up to survive. He also said his dad really gave him a hard time over stealing, so he never stole again.
2002 – Conn earned GED in juvenile detention.
Billy also mentioned his daughter was born while he was in prison the first time.

Billy's first offense as an adult in Indiana was in 2003, when he was 19, for receiving stolen property. The case was ultimately dismissed but not until 2012.
2003- Class D Felony, State v. Billy Conn Jr., Franklin Cirucit Court 2. Charges, receiving stolen property. Case was dismissed.
2006- Infraction for seat belt violation. Citation issued.
2013 – Class B Felony, State v. Billy Conn Jr., Wayne Superior Court. Charles, possession of less than 3g of meth within 1000 ft. of school property. A plea agreement was made and Conn was sentenced to three years.
2015 – Guardianship of Gunner Billy Joe Conn (Billy's son), petitioner Janet and Denver Belt. Guardianship was granted as Billy was incarcerated and agreed.
2018 – Felony 2, State of Indiana vs. Billy Conn, Dearborn Circuit Court. Convicted of 28g or more of meth (F3). Conn was convicted and sentenced to 50 years.
2019 – Post Conviction Appeal, Billy Conn Jr. v. State of Indiana. Sentence was confirmed and case was closed.
2019 – Direct Appeal, Billy Conn Jr. v. State of Indiana, Court of Appeals, active.