ON August 2, 2011, Jermaine Clifton, age 21, entered a plea of guilty to murder in the shooting death of Billy Kimberlin, Jr. Kimberlin was shot and killed in his family’s home on August 21, 2009, by Clifton during a burglary. Clifton, along with four other men from Houston, traveled to Livingston from Houston with the intent to burglarize the Kimberlin home. When the group arrived in Livingston Clifton, Alderick Johnson, age 20, and Anthony Poledore, age 19, got out of the car and approached the Kimberlin home. However, Poledore never entered the home. Both Clifton and Johnson entered a travel trailer located behind the Kimberlin home and pistol whipped the occupants, tied their hands with duct tape and forced them to take the assailants into the main home. When Clifton and Johnson entered the home, Billy Kimberlin, Jr. was asleep on the couch, but was startled awake by the intrusion. Clifton walked over to Kimberlin and shot him three times, causing his death. Clifton and Johnson then forced their way into the master bedroom and stole approximately $5,000.00 from the homeowner, Billy Kimberlin, Sr. Larry Wardwell, the brother of the victim, was able to escape from the home and call 911. When Clifton and Johnson heard the sirens of the responding police officers they ran from the home. Lieutenant Matt Parrish with the Livingston Police Department saw the suspects as they were fleeing and began a foot pursuit in an attempt to apprehend the suspects. Officers from the Livingston Police Department, Polk County Sheriff’s Office and Texas Department of Public Safety conducted a search for the suspects. Deputy Vance Berry with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office saw Johnson in the parking lot of Subway and placed him under arrest. Johnson was in possession of a firearm at the time of his arrest. However, eyewitnesses from the home later identified Clifton as the person who shot Billy Kimberlin, Jr.
Lieutenant Parrish interviewed Johnson shortly after his arrest and he confessed to the burglary and told Parrish the names of some of the others involved. Based on this information a warrant was issued for the arrest of Jermaine Clifton. Further investigation by the Livingston Police Department revealed that Quintin Fisher, age 37 of Houston, was the person who planned the burglary and was the driver of the vehicle that traveled to Livingston the night of August 21, 2009. Fisher recruited Omega Manning, age 38 of Houston, to participate in the burglary as well. Manning asked Clifton and Johnson to participate. Poledore was with Johnson.
Clifton was sentenced to life in prison. Fisher was found guilty of capital murder on June 24, 2011, by a Polk County jury and sentenced to life in prison without parole. Manning and Johnson pleaded guilty to murder and are facing sentences between 25 and 70 years in prison. Poledore, who pleaded guilty to aggravated robbery, faces a sentence of up to 30 years in prison. Prosecutors, Lee Hon and Kaycee Jones say they are “grateful for the hard work of the Livingston Police Department; because of their quick response the night of the murder and their diligent efforts in the days and weeks following these criminals who invaded our town and caused such pain to the Kimberlin family were apprehended.”
Livingston, August 2, 2011: District Judge Elizabeth Coker reads Jermain Clifton his sentence of life in prison after Clifton pleaded guilty.
Jermain Clifton Pleads Guilty to the Murder of Billy Kimberlin, Jr., LIVINGSTON, August 2, 2011 - Shortly before noon on August 2, 2011, murder suspect Jermain Terrell Clifton, 21, of Houston pleaded guilty to the murder of Billy Ray Kimberlin, Jr. of Livingston. Clifton was one of the two who physically forced their way into the Kimberlin Residence on the evening of August 21, 2009. Clifton was sentenced to life in prison. Afterwards, Billy Ray Kimberlin, Sr. gave an impact statement. Kimberlin thanked our local law enforcement (especially Livingston Police Department). Kimberlin looked right at Clifton and told him that what he did was wrong, that Billy Jr. was a good man, and that he senselessly took his son's life. He also told him that Billy Jr. would've given him the shirt off of his back if he asked. Clifton could be eligible for parole, but it's highly unlikely as he is connected with more murders in Houston.
Livingston, August 2, 2011: 21 year old Jermain Terrell Clifton is escorted out of the Polk County Courthouse after pleading guilty to the murder of Billy Ray Kimberlin, Jr. Clifton was sentenced to life in prison.
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