Babcock sentenced to 15 years for killing Billy Lee

NORWICH – Richard T. Babcock was sentenced to 15 years in state prison Monday after admitting he shot and killed William E. Lee in November 2008 so he could steal cash and drugs.

Appearing before Acting Chenango County Court Judge Joseph F. Cawley Jr. of Broome County on July 12, Babcock told the court a 72-hour drug binge on cocaine led up to the shooting.

At the time of the shooting, Babcock was living with Lee at his Tanner Hill residence along State Highway 23 in the Town of Norwich while police were searching for him on a stolen property warrant.

Babcock said he and Lee began arguing after Babcock wanted more drugs to continue his binge, demanding more from Lee, who the defense has claimed was a local cocaine dealer.

“I was using drugs for approximately three days, a binge on cocaine,” said Babcock when he pleaded guilty. “We had a brief argument and I shot him in the head and took the narcotics.”

District Attorney Joseph McBride said the 61-year-old victim was shot in the head with a 16-gauge shotgun at point-blank range while on his couch.

After the shooting, McBride said Babcock also stole “several thousands in cash” and contacted a local cab for transportation to the Binghamton bus station.

“Mr. Babcock took a bus to North Carolina where he was robbed while attempting to purchase cocaine at a bus station there. He then returned home to get funds from his mother and was picked up in Binghamton by state police investigators,” said the DA.

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