Accused murderer admits he’s a drug dealer, but not the man who killed Billy Lee

NORWICH – The man accused of murdering Billy Lee appeared in Chenango County Court Monday to plead guilty to selling prescription drugs on more occasions than he could remember, admitting that at least one of the instances was to an undercover police officer.

Richard T. Babcock, 25, was indicted in July for the second degree murder of 61-year-old Norwich native, William E. Lee last November.

Babcock appeared before Supreme Court Justice Kevin M. Dowd Monday and pleaded guilty to selling drugs to undercover New York State Police investigators while still maintaining his innocence in the pending murder case.

Babcock could not recall the specific date of the March 21, 2008 incident in which prosecutors claim he sold prescription drugs to covert narcotic officers.

District Attorney Joseph A. McBride attempted to detail the specifics of the date in question, but to no avail. He described Babcock meeting the officer and another man in the stairwell of a Norwich apartment house where he sold the two men pills of lorazepam, a prescription anxiety drug.

“I can’t recall. There has been many similar situations like that,” Babcock told the judge. “I do recall instances I have sold that prescription, though I don’t know any dates.”

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