NORWICH – Chenango County Supreme Court became the scene of a surprising revelation Friday morning when prosecutors unsealed a secret murder indictment informing a summoned defendant that he’s accused of being the trigger man in the November shooting death of William E. Lee.
Chenango County District Attorney Joseph A. McBride said he and New York State Police investigators presented their case to a grand jury Wednesday. The jury returned a six count indictment accusing 25-year-old Richard T. Babcock of Norwich, with the murder of the 61-year-old Norwich native.
The DA said the indictment was sealed by the court because Babcock had not been officially arrested for any of the crimes contained in the indictment, although he was incarcerated at the Chenango County Correctional Facility on unrelated charges at the time it was presented to the grand jury.
The indictment accuses Babcock of approaching Lee while he was on his couch and shooting him in the head with a 16 gauge shotgun at point blank range.
The same day the body was found, Nov. 13, Pathologist Dr. James Terzian performed an autopsy at St. Mary’s Hospital in Amsterdam.
It revealed Lee was killed by the head wound a few days before his body was discovered. The indictment claimed Babcock killed Lee on Nov. 9.
Babcock is charged with two counts of second degree murder. Under New York State Law, Babcock can be charged with multiple counts in the same death, because it is alleged he intentionally meant to cause Lee’s death and a second because he did so while in the course of an armed robbery.