June 09, 2023
The Philadelphia man found guilty of fatally shooting Dominic Billa after a fistfight inside the Philadelphia Mills mall two years ago received a decades-long prison sentence Friday.
Gregory Smith, 23, must serve 26 to 52 years in prison for killing Billa, 21, in the mall's food court on March 29, 2021. He also must pay Billa's family $15,000 in restitution. He was sentenced in Philadelphia County Court.
Smith was found guilty of third-degree murder and related charges in March.
"Gregory Smith showed a complete disregard for the safety of everyone in the area when he shot and killed Dominic Billa in a crowded shopping mall," Attorney General Michelle Henry said. "Nothing can bring Dominic back to his family and loved ones, but the defendant has now been held accountable for this senseless act of violence."
During the trial, prosecutors alleged that Smith and another man conspired to confront Billa, whom they disliked, after spotting him in the mall. After the fight intensified, Smith began shooting at Billa and his cousin, hitting Billa twice in his chest. Billa, the stepson of a homicide detective in the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office, died at the scene.
Smith and the man with him fled the mall on a SEPTA bus and hid in a South Jersey hotel. The other man was acquitted of all charges, including third degree murder, and was released from prison in March.
Smith was out on bail for several other charges, including drug and firearm possession, when he killed Billa.
"Thanks to the hard work of our prosecutors and law enforcement partners, Mr. Smith will no longer be able to cause chaos and destruction in Philadelphia," Henry said.