Billy Forte Sentenced To 21 Years For Murder of His Son

Thursday, May 19, 2022 - by Thea Marshall

Judge Barry Steelman on Thursday sentenced Billy Forte to 21 years for second-degree murder. in the April 2018, slaying of his son, Charles Forte, after they had an argument about money. 


“Mr. Forte’s state of mind immediately after the shooting was concerning,” said Judge Steelman. “He seemed excited and pleased. I have never seen anything like that.” 


Judge Steelman said he considered the fact that Forte remained on the scene after the shooting and his work history but enhancement factors outweighed mitigating factors. 


“Billy has threatened to kill many members of our family,” said the victim’s daughter.

“We feel this is our only chance to get justice for my dad and we ask you to sentence him to the maximum amount.” 


The Forte family remained in support of Charles throughout. But during sentencing, Forte apologized to his family for “the incident” and said justice will take its course. Despite that, Judge Steelman said he certainly saw no signs of remorse from Forte.


“If anyone does us wrong we want justice but if we do someone wrong, we want mercy,” said Billy’s ex-wife and the victim’s mother. “I extend my mercy and I forgive you.” 


Forte admitted to police that he shot his son but in trial, he claimed it was out of self-defense. Forte said he thought Charles was pulling a gun on him after their argument so he shot him. 


Judge Steelman said self-defense claims were rejected by the jury as they had an option between involuntary manslaughter and second-degree murder. 


Charles helped manage Billy Forte’s bankrupt business, Eaves Formal Wear, where the shooting took place. Charles was allegedly stealing money from the business over a period of time. 


In sentencing, Charles’ daughter said Forte became envious of Charles and he intentionally killed him because of it.


 Judge Steelman offered his condolences to the Forte family. 


“In the case of Criminal Court, justice is served but no one really wins,” said Judge Steelman. 



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