Warrant issued for Duluth man who posted ‘Turtleboy’ threats

17 July 2023

DULUTH An arrest warrant has been issued for a man who allegedly threatened to blow up the Superior refinery and said he would “put a hit on every cop in Duluth.”

Trevor Hambricke Billings, 30, walked out of a local residential treatment facility while awaiting placement at a state mental health facility, according to St. Louis County prosecutor Nichole Carter.

Billings, using the name “Turtleboy Duluth,” prompted numerous 911 calls, sent Superior police officers to provide additional security at the refinery and nearly caused at least one Duluth school to go into lockdown as he publicly posted a series of threats to Facebook in April, according to court documents.

He is charged in State District Court with two felony counts of making threats of violence. However, Judge Dale Harris on June 1 suspended the criminal proceedings following a psychological evaluation, finding that Billings is “mentally ill or deficient so as to be incapable of participating in (his) defense.”

Judge David Johnson on June 26 ordered Billings to be civilly committed as a person who poses a risk of harm due to mental illness. That same day, Judge Eric Hylden signed an order in the criminal case allowing him to be released to Arrowhead House in Duluth while awaiting a bed at Anoka-Metro Regional Treatment Center’s competency restoration program.

State law requires that the Minnesota Department of Health transfer civilly committed inmates from jail to a state-run facility within 48 hours, but the system is severely over capacity and its waitlist extends for months, forcing local officials to hold mentally ill defendants in jail or seek local alternatives.

Records indicate that Billings was released from the St. Louis County Jail on July 5. Carter said it was discovered a week later, July 12, that he was missing from Arrowhead East, violating the conditions of his commitment order.

“(A case manager’s) report sets forth a concern that the defendant is mentally ill, refusing to adhere to recommended medication and that he has little insight into his mental illness,” Carter wrote last week. “As such, the state believes that the defendant poses a risk to public safety. His present whereabouts are unknown.”

Harris signed the warrant, ordering that Billings be apprehended and held without bail pending an appearance before the court. Carter indicated she would seek a reinstatement of his original $100,000 bail.

Billings had a documented history of mental illness prior to his April arrest, twice in recent years having been placed under civil commitments. The most recent order had expired in September 2020.

He has a relatively minor criminal history, with only a handful of misdemeanor convictions for offenses including impaired driving, theft and giving a false name to a police officer. He had another pending misdemeanor case stemming from a fight at a downtown bar in March, but records show that was dismissed after he was found incompetent.

In his Facebook screeds, Billings allegedly promised “the first live explosion on Facebook,” alluded to being heavily armed and repeatedly used the term “jihad.” He reportedly wrote, “I got the refinery once I can do it again easy,” promising he would “go boom” and describing it as World War III.

Videos posted publicly to the social media site showed he had a sword and compound bow set up in a manner to injure anyone who tried to enter his apartment, and he showed boxes of fireworks that he said he planned to use as explosives.

The Duluth Police Department dispatched its Crisis Negotiations Team and Tactical Response Team to his residence, 819 Charles Ave., in West Duluth, but court documents indicate he would not respond to their communications. He eventually was arrested after jumping out a back window.


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