DA: Accused murderer was hiding from the law at Lee’s home

NORWICH – The man who prosecutors claim shot William E. Lee was hiding from the law at the victim’s home, and he may have killed his friend in order to skip town with his money, according to the district attorney.

DA Joseph McBride told Acting Supreme Court Justice W. Howard Sullivan in court Friday that the accused, 25-year-old Richard T. Babcock of Norwich, was “hiding out at Mr. Lee’s,” because a warrant was issued for his arrest involving stolen property.

The Norwich Police Department requested a warrant for Babcock’s arrest on Oct. 28, 2008, asking that he be returned to Norwich City Court to face charges of fourth degree criminal possession of stolen property, a felony, and petit larceny, only 11 days before he allegedly shot Lee.

The indictment accuses Babcock of approaching Lee while he was on his couch at his Tanner Hill home in November, and shooting him in the head with a 16-gauge shotgun at point-blank range. The cause of death was confirmed Nov. 13 by Pathologist Dr. James Terzian, who performed an autopsy at St. Mary’s Hospital in Amsterdam.

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