What Ever Happened to Billy Joe Hurst the Killer of Roy Lee Centers?

Posted in the Jackson County Forum

roostrdude

Austin, TX

#1 Dec 14, 2009
A cold blooded murder that went unpunished.
lacha

United States

#2 Feb 8, 2010
A great talent was stilled. May his killer burn in hell.
CentersFan

Riverview, MI

#3 May 9, 2010
Is he still alive? Cant believe he was only sentenced to 12 years, even tougher to believe he only served 3 months,,for outright cold blooded murder. Would love to hear more info on this guy. Would be awesome if this story could be featured on dateline or something, maybe get another old charge on this guy and stick him back in the pen.
eye witness

Lexington, KY

#4 Apr 26, 2011
Billy Joe Hurst never spent a day in jail. He has went unpunished all these years...The nerve he had to show up at a funeral of a family member of Roy Lee Centers where two of Roy Lee's children and Roy Lee's widow were present...He was told to leave and had the nerve to say I have friends here...
I am surprised this man has lived to see this day but unfortunately he has.......what a shame for the city of Jackson to treat Roy Lee's family this way and let a cold blooded killer get away with murder....
Royleesbabygirl6 7

West Liberty, KY

#5 Jun 23, 2011
CentersFan wrote:
Is he still alive? Cant believe he was only sentenced to 12 years, even tougher to believe he only served 3 months,,for outright cold blooded murder. Would love to hear more info on this guy. Would be awesome if this story could be featured on dateline or something, maybe get another old charge on this guy and stick him back in the pen.
Thank you for your interest. I am the daughter of Roy Lee Centers. I actually contacted Lifetime TV for this story, they told me I would need to get in touch with Hollywood Enquirer. I would love to get this story out, I started out writing this story and actually interviewed my grandfather, George Centers, but he couldn't continue, he was blaming himself because he taught daddy how to play the banjo at the age of 13.
Billy's name is actually William Robert Hurst and not Billy Joe. My mother has been interview by forensic science professors from a University back in 2003, they submitted it and was published in the Bluegrass Unlimited magazine, it was July 2003 issue. Thanks again for your interest. God Bless to you all!
Rodney Spencer Georgetown

Georgetown, KY

#6 Jun 23, 2011
I am the Brother-n-law of Roy Lee Centers, The man that murdered Roy Lee has gone unpunished for 37 years, at the trial, Billy got 10 years for killing Roy Lee, but he served only 16 days and got out of jail on shock probation,this was in 1974. It was told that the night before the jury was to delibarate, that some of billy's family members was seen at some of the jury members homes, (hear say) The ones that was bribed, built new homes after the trial. I sure hope they can live with themselves. Trailer trash is what they are. I hope they read what I am saying about them. It is true that Billy will never have to pay for his crime down here, but wait until he comes before The Almighty God on judgement day. If billy don't ask God to forgive him, he is going to burn for eternity. I am a Christian, and as Christians we have to forgive him, and I have, but that don't mean that I have to talk to him or have anything to do with him. I hope that he gets forgivness for what he did, no matter what people has done, I don't want to see anyone go to hell. Thanks for reading this.
Warren

Roanoke, VA

#7 Jan 13, 2012

This page is bitter sweet. I was so glad I found it. In 1970 I met Roy Lee we were just like best friends from the start. I was 17 and played mandolin and sang lead with a band. Ralph Stanley was such a great help to me. I cannot tell you how much I thought of Roy Lee I think of him all the time and how much his friendship meant the last time I saw him was at Reedsvile N. C. I have pictures of that day. I wish I had one of Roy Lee. We had been setting at the record table together. Ralph thought me and Ricky Scaggs would sound good together so we were singing and Ralph was laying in the bed of the bus with the window open. I left and played the VMI college with my band and then became a christian and quit traveling.
I think of all the injustice that was done but let us not dwell on that and thank of what a privilege we had to know Roy Lee. There will be a day where everything will be made right. I am glad I could call him my friend.
Richard King

Trivoli, IL

#8 Jan 18, 2012
Hurst lives on hwy 205. If you get in contact with Bobby King I believe he can give you some information about things that happened. He lives in vancleve an did when that happend. I also have a 45 record of a song that Lee Allen & The Dew Mountain Boys did in memory of Roy Lee Centers.
Luthur Jackson

Cincinnati, OH

#9 Feb 9, 2012
Royleesbabygirl67 wrote:
<quoted text>Thank you for your interest. I am the daughter of Roy Lee Centers. I actually contacted Lifetime TV for this story, they told me I would need to get in touch with Hollywood Enquirer. I would love to get this story out, I started out writing this story and actually interviewed my grandfather, George Centers, but he couldn't continue, he was blaming himself because he taught daddy how to play the banjo at the age of 13.
Billy's name is actually William Robert Hurst and not Billy Joe. My mother has been interview by forensic science professors from a University back in 2003, they submitted it and was published in the Bluegrass Unlimited magazine, it was July 2003 issue. Thanks again for your interest. God Bless to you all!
I am a local broadcaster in SW Ohio and am preparing a show with Roy Lee as the featured artist.My in laws are from Quicksand Ky.
Howard

United States

#10 Feb 18, 2012
I agree it is a shame that Bill was not punished for the murder of Roy Lee but I can say he was in a car wreck that he had to suffer from and is old and barely gets around claims to be a Christian that is between him and God but I hope he has several more years of suffering before he dies and he has a girl that has brought all kinds of problems on him her name is Tonya
i know

Cornettsville, KY

#11 Apr 16, 2012
Bill Hurst is now in the Wolfe Co nursing home.
justice

United States

#12 May 11, 2012
He committed such a horrible crime, and got away with it, but it's called karma! When you do bad to people especially when you have no remorse for it karma going to get you in the end! Billy in a nursing home is karma getting back at him for what he did! Does anyone know if the details of the case can be found?
Breathitt

Emmalena, KY

#13 Jun 7, 2012
Bill Hurst is now dead and to my knowledge he was burried today.
Tracy Hurst

United States

#14 Sep 6, 2012
Id like to more about this being Im his Grandaughtet. Please give me more details
Dennis Schut

Brussels, Belgium

#15 Jan 7, 2013
eye witness wrote:
Billy Joe Hurst never spent a day in jail. He has went unpunished all these years...The nerve he had to show up at a funeral of a family member of Roy Lee Centers where two of Roy Lee's children and Roy Lee's widow were present...He was told to leave and had the nerve to say I have friends here...
I am surprised this man has lived to see this day but unfortunately he has.......what a shame for the city of Jackson to treat Roy Lee's family this way and let a cold blooded killer get away with murder....
Maybe the facts should be made public to as many people as possible around him so that he would come under great public pressure for the rest of his life... What a strange legal system that this is even possible... I wonder what kind of criminals do get punished!
Jimmy Hunt

Trenton, GA

#16 Feb 5, 2013
Listen to the song by James King titled "Roy Lee" I think it speaks for all of us and how we felt about Roy L. Centers.
Justice sometime takes years but it will come.
Dennis Schut

Brussels, Belgium

#17 Feb 7, 2013
To Rodney Spencer and Warren:

Thank you for your posts. I think you are very wise man. It is very good that you can forgive and can handle this awful tragedy in this way. I don't know if I would be so close as his children losing their father this way, if I would be able to handle it this way. But in a way there is no other way and it is a great feeling God helps you to cope.
I never had the chance to meet Roy lee Centers but have all his records and you can feel he was a good man from his emotions and voice.
Warren wrote:
This page is bitter sweet. I was so glad I found it. In 1970 I met Roy Lee we were just like best friends from the start. I was 17 and played mandolin and sang lead with a band. Ralph Stanley was such a great help to me. I cannot tell you how much I thought of Roy Lee I think of him all the time and how much his friendship meant the last time I saw him was at Reedsvile N. C. I have pictures of that day. I wish I had one of Roy Lee. We had been setting at the record table together. Ralph thought me and Ricky Scaggs would sound good together so we were singing and Ralph was laying in the bed of the bus with the window open. I left and played the VMI college with my band and then became a christian and quit traveling.
I think of all the injustice that was done but let us not dwell on that and thank of what a privilege we had to know Roy Lee. There will be a day where everything will be made right. I am glad I could call him my friend.
illianaboy1989

Wilmington, IL

#18 Sep 4, 2013
I remember Roy Lee Centers when he was with Ralph Stanley in the early 70s, I was born in the 80s but remember listening to him as a baby boy. To me my opinion is he was a musician who had one of the most beautiful and sincere voices bluegrass and gospel music has to offer, I remember my dad having him on tapes when he was with Ralph, and that's how I found out about him, I LOVED Roy Lee's voice! and he is and always will be one of my biggest heroes when it comes to lead singing and hard drive rhythm guitar playing in bluegrass and bluegrass-gospel, I'm sure that he believed and more than likely read in the good book, the holy bible, and although he's gone, his memory in music and also among family and friends will live on...God Bless Roy Lee Centers and his family!

Since: Apr 14

Louisville, KY

#19 Apr 2, 2014
I hope to visit Roys grave this Memorial day.
gregory lee centers

Fort Wayne, IN

#20 Apr 3, 2014
remembered every day I live

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