A married deputy sheriff who immigrated from Russia to the US in 2007 has been implicated in the bizarre death of a champion speed runner she thinks went to waste after suddenly contracting cow disease. crazy.
But friends of former Olympic athlete Boris Leikin told The Daily Beast they had watched the super-fit athlete grow increasingly disoriented and feeble while his alleged mistress kept him. He isolates himself, refusing to let his friends socialize with him before she is accused of stealing his life-saving money.
Marina Billings, 49, and her husband Robert, 70, already charged with financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult and aggravated abuse against a vulnerable adult, the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office confirmed. They were accused of running away Leikin about his Cottonwood Heights, Utah home and property before his mysterious death last July at the age of 69.
Billings grew up in Siberia, where she is said to own an advertising agency. asked in 2016 that she enjoys being an assistant because, “When I come to work… it’s like a family. I know people will cover my back.”
She met Leikin last year, in a Facebook group for Russian speakers, According to a charging document obtained by The Daily Beast. A few months later, Leikin learned that Billings was married. However, Leikin told a friend that “he loves Marina, who is 20 years older than him,” it said.
Leikin is one of the oldest athletes to compete at Olympic level, and set Masters world records in 2013 and 2014. In an online memorial, the International Speed Skating Commission noted Leikin’s participation in the US Olympic trials in 1998, 2002, and 2005, at the age of 53. He young skaters with enthusiastic mentoring, and is considered revered by those in the game.
Leikin and Billings met often, visiting each other in Utah and Idaho. But last spring, strange things began to happen to Leikin, who friends say has always been a symbol of health.
Ule Archuletta, president of the Utah Masters Speed Skating Federation – where Leikin serves as director – said he raced with Leikin in March. All was normal at the time, and Leikin was active at the skate club, training and coaching others.
In May, while hiking with Leikin, Archuletta first realized that something was wrong with her longtime skating teammate.
“Soon after meeting her, he started complaining of headaches and not being able to sleep, and then it got worse and worse,” Archuletta told The Daily Beast. “It all doesn’t look right because he’s one of the top skaters of his age in the world.”
When he went to Leikin’s house a few weeks later, Archuletta said Leikin was “very weak, he couldn’t recognize the people there, and when I asked him who the president was, he laughed it off. But then he said, “I’m not sure.”
“It’s basically like he has dementia,” said Archuletta. “And that’s when she moved in.”
A day or two later, a related Archuletta came to the Leikin house to check on him. But Billings refused to let Archuletta inside, he said, adding, “That’s when I called the police.”
Others told a similar story after police began investigating.
A couple with whom Leikin was friendly told detectives that Leikin contacted them in early May and said he was experiencing unexplained health problems. Within weeks, he had deteriorated to the point of hospitalization.”
The couple “tried to contact Boris while he was in hospital but were told that Marina had restricted anyone who had contact with Boris, other than herself, from asserting that she was his fiancé.” Boris [sic] and have power of attorney,” the charging document states. “According to hospital staff and social works [sic], they suspect Boris has been seriously neglected and that he is in a very serious condition. [The couple] claims that Boris has no family to advocate for him while he is in hospital, which is a big concern. ”
Furthermore, Billings “informed Boris’s friends and neighbors that she was controlling Boris’ finances while he was hospitalized,” according to the filing.
Leikin was discharged from the hospital on May 28 and home, Billings said she would take care of him.
A woman who lives across Leikin Street told investigators that Billings contacted her on May 30 and asked her to come to the house because “Boris wanted to adjust his will,” the document alleges. explain. When she got there, Billings told her neighbor and her husband “that Boris may have mad cow disease and is already in the terminal stages.”
According to public records, an unidentified “older man” was also there, who was later identified as Robert, Billings’ husband, who worked as an FBI electronics technician. He said Leikin wanted to “change a line of his will,” according to the filing, which said the neighbor “watched Marina put the pen in Boris’s hand, put the will under the pen Boris was holding, but Boris was unable to sign the will. Boris can’t pick up his pen and sign his signature”.
In the end, Billings was able to get Leikin, who was shaking uncontrollably, to sign the will. But he didn’t seem to know what he was doing, said the neighbor, who later told police that Billings was talking to Leikin “in a very strange way and described it as if she were treating her.” with him like that [a] dog.” “Marina talked to me that weekend and asked if he had a will and all that, and then she [suddenly] there is a will,” Archiletta told The Daily Beast. “There’s a lot of things that don’t add up.”
Leikin’s condition soon worsened. On June 4, due to the effects of dehydration and rapid weight loss, he was re-hospitalized.
The incriminating document said: “Doctors are concerned about Boris’ lack of care and Marina’s indifference towards it.
Leikin died on July 6. Court papers do not state whether his death was attributed to bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or mad cow disease.
“He’s a great guy, he’s got a manly personality, everyone who meets him likes him,” Archuletta told The Daily Beast. “He had a lot of people coming to train with him, and he let them stay at his house. There is a list of Olympic athletes that can tell you about Boris and everything he has done for people in the community. “
After Leikin’s death, a detective with the Cottonwood Heights Police Department reviewed his finances, according to the charging document. At the end of May, while Leikin was first hospitalized, Billings drafted a new will for Leikin, named himself the beneficiary and executed it, it said. She also drafted a contract to remove a close friend of Leikin as enforcer, which was formalized in 2017.
The couple “drafted documents for complete control over Boris’s possessions and assets” and signed them as “Leikin’s physical and mental condition was rapidly deteriorating”, the charging document said. .
In an interview with detectives, Billings asserted that it was Leikin who “wanted her to have custody and continued to press her and Robert to make a Will,” and said Leikin wanted to leave his entire estate. I give her. During private interrogation, Robert Billings admitted to detectives that he drafted the revised will that Leikin signed, but insisted he only did so because “Boris expressed some concerns about caregiving.” take care of his old mother.” He also admitted to taking a 9mm Ruger pistol from Leikin’s home “because they were afraid that Boris might use it on him”, the indictment document said.
Robert claimed he had no will or any other alleged documents in his possession but when police searched Billings’ home in Idaho, they found a “secret room in the basement “with a large plastic file divider containing “copies of the Will, Power of Attorney, Trust, Medical Records for Boris’ treatment in Idaho, and other paperwork.”
When he first learned that Marina and Robert Billings had been arrested, Archuletta said he had an answer: “Relief.”
Ben Haynes, a spokesman for the Salt Lake County DA, told The Daily Beast that they were both registered and released on $2,500 bail. The murder charges have not yet been filed at this time. In an email, Salt Lake County Attorney Sim Gill said, “We make the allegations based on evidence. Marina and Robert Billings are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law”.
Police have not said whether they believe Billings intentionally poisoned Leikin.
The Daily Beast approached her home in Pocatello, Idaho, and Marina Billings refused to discuss the situation or the allegations she and her husband were facing. She said to refer all questions to her attorney, but hung up when asked for her attorney’s name.
A neighbor who lives a few doors down from the couple told The Daily Beast they are “quite private people”.
“The few times we talked to her, she was really nice,” the neighbor asked, who has not been identified. “But I don’t know that there’s anyone in the real neighborhood know surname. They keep pretty much all to themselves. ”
Following the charges, Marina Billings was placed on administrative leave from the Bannock County Sheriff’s Office, Police Chief Tony Manu said in a statement.
“Billings will remain on administrative leave while the County conducts an internal investigation into Bannock County policies,” the statement said. “The Bannock County Sheriff’s Office expects the highest professional behavior from employees both on the job and off duty, including in compliance with the law.”
https://www.thedailybeast.com/idaho-deputy-marina-billings-charged-after-claiming-olympic-speedskater-boris-leikin-died-of-mad-cow-disease?source=articles&via=rss Idaho Deputy Minister Marina Billings charged after claiming Olympic speedrunner Boris Leikin died of mad cow disease