Sunday, October 12, 2008


ONSLOW COUNTY, NC -- A former police chief arrested today!

George Hayden was arrested Monday night for the 1972 murder of Bill Miller. Since getting out of the Marine Corps, Hayden has been a police officer, most recently chief at Belhaven.
The D.A. says because the crime happened 36 years ago, the law at that time has to be applied today. In 1972 North Carolina did not have a death penalty.
"You have to look at what the punishment is at the time of the crime not the arrest, in 1972 we had no death penalty in America because the United States Supreme Court had ruled all death penalties at that time unconstitutional," Hudson tells WITN.
Hayden's ex-wife, Vickey Babbitt, will also not face the death penalty if convicted.
Babbitt and Miller were married at the time of the murder. Deputies say when Miller returned from a deployment, he found that Hayden had moved into his home. He asked the two to move out.
Several weeks later authorities say Babbitt lured her husband to a Western Boulevard parking lot where Hayden ambushed him, shooting the Marine twice.
Hudson says his team of lawyers are starting the process of looking for other witnesses from 1972 who may know about the crime, as well as crime scene investigators and pathologists from 36 years ago.
Wednesday's StoryA second person has now been arrested for a 36 year old murder mystery in Onslow County.
Vickey Babbitt, who was married to Bill Miller when he was murdered in 1972, was arrested at her home in Bend, Oregon last night.
After Miller's death Babbitt married George Hayden who was charged Monday night with the murder. Until this past March Hayden was police chief in Belhaven, and prior to that in Cape Carteret. Hayden and Babbitt have since divorced and both have remarried.
Deputies say it wasn't until August 20th that authorities got long awaited evidence they needed to charge the couple. A witness came forward after the Jacksonville Daily News ran a series of articles on the cold murder case.
Sheriff Ed Brown says since then investigators have worked around the clock reviewing the 3,000 pages of case file and re-interviewing witnesses from the 1972 homicide.
Brown says the two were always suspects in the murder. He says when the 27-year-old Miller came back from Marine Corps training in 1972, he found his wife and Hayden living together in Miller's Onslow County house. Brown says the two moved out of Miller's home.
The sheriff says Babbitt later coaxed her husband to a wooded area on Western Boulevard so Hayden could ambush him. Brown says Hayden then shot Miller in the head and back with a M-16 rifle. The sheriff says Hayden and Babbitt were married three months later.
Hayden is in the Onslow County jail without bond, while Babbitt is in the Deschutes County, Oregon jail awaiting a hearing to return to North Carolina.
Tuesday's Story
A former chief of police in the Beaufort County town of Belhaven and Cape Carteret in Carteret County is now accused of killing a fellow Marine in 1972.
Hayden, age 57, was charged by the Onslow County Sheriff's Office. Police say Hayden's ex-wife, 58-year-old Vickey Miller Hayden Babbitt, will be arrested later today. Officials say Babbitt was married to the victim at the time of the murder.
Sheriff Ed Brown tells WITN News when the victim, 27-year-old Bill Miller, came back from Marine Corps training in 1972, he found his wife and Hayden living together in Miller's house in Onslow County. Brown says the two moved out of Miller's home.
The sheriff says Babbitt later coaxed her husband to a wooded area on Western Boulevard so Hayden could ambush him. Brown says Hayden then shot Miller in the head and back with a M-16 rifle. The sheriff says Hayden and Babbitt were married three months later and that Hayden has always been a suspect in the murder.
Until March, Hayden was the police chief in the Beaufort County town of Belhaven. Before that, he was a police chief in Cape Carteret.
Hayden now lives with his family on Portside Lane in Belhaven, where he was taken into custody Monday night by representatives from the Beaufort and Onslow County Sheriff's Offices, NCIS, US Marshals and the SBI.
He was taken to Onslow County, charged and locked up. Hayden was committed to the Onslow County Jail just one week shy of the date of September 16, 1972, the date he and Babbitt are accused of killing Vickey’s husband on Western Boulevard in Jacksonville. Officials note the murder occurred on Western Boulevard back before Western Boulevard was a part of the City of Jacksonville.
Babbitt is expected to be arrested at her home in Oregon today.
Earlier this year, in March, George Hayden was fired from the Belhaven Police Department in an unrelated matter, along with a police lieutenant. The two are appealing their dismissal and are taking their case to court. Belhaven Mayor Adam O'Neal told WITN News he had no comment on the former chief's arrest. The mayor said Hayden is gone from Belhaven and that's history now.
Onslow County has a press conference scheduled for Wednesday at 1 p.m.
"Regardless of the case type or age of a case, interaction, assistance, and teamwork of those in the judicial system is necessary," said Onslow County Sheriff Ed Brown.
"I wish to express many thanks to the District Attorney’s Office, and all Agencies and their Agents for everything they did to bring this case thus far. Additional teamwork will be required, however, to bring this case to a resolved disposition. Family, friends, and citizens may consider a case cold, forgotten, or even dismissed, but as for law enforcement and those responsible for justice a case may be cold and old, but never forgotten or dismissed," said Sheriff Brown. "Much credit for new life being breathed into this case goes to the Jacksonville Daily News Reporter, Lindell Kay. It was two separate cold case articles Mr. Kay did in the Jacksonville Daily News that inspired a key witness to come to the Onslow County Sheriff’s Office with specific evidence that lead to the solving of William “Bill” Miller’s murder that occurred on September 16, 1972. Mr. Kay’s articles were in the Sunday, August 10th, and August 17th, 2008, publication of the Jacksonville Daily News."


  1. To all who are going through this, I give my prayer, best wishes and all my love.

    Incase you dont know who I am , I am the ex wife of the son (Sterling)of Goerge and Vicki Hayden. We married back in 94. I know Goerge and Vicki in a short time of my life and now have two wonderul children on which they are grandparents to for over 13 years now.

    I can only say at this time of those two is one Vicki has had nothing to do with her grandkids at all. And Goerge well he is another story of its own. Its even been quite of few years since he has seen them. And its only because his son Sterling brought them there to see him when they drove to visit him. He doesnt call or send them gifts or anything. No relationship with them what so ever.
    From my own personal experiences with them indivually and together at one point in time have all been over whelming for the circumstances that had been of this familys history.
    I had known first of William from Wendy back in 94. When I had problems with Vicki , Wendy kindly took me in to her home. During this time is when Wendy told me all about the family. I thought OMG what did I get myself into?(But already due with our first child)
    Besides all that and going through what I had gone through with their son, For the things I had went through with all them at the time I was married to this family he and I ended up divorcing in 97
    As of Novermber 25th I have learned of all thats been going on through Wendys profile of the remeberance of her father. I had searched up trying to find Wendy , to say hi and come to find out......all this is happening as I sit unaware of what was going on around me.
    Just as anyone else I am shocked and am suprised of what is happening. But for all that I had gone through and all that I had heard , I am not surprised. I just hope the truth will come out and be put to rest what truely happen the last night of William Millers life.
    For him and his family and for my family too!!!

  2. I cannot thank you enough for your kind words and prayers. I am also sad that your children seem to be forgotten as far as their grandparents go (I use this term loosely) children are angels and a joy to everyone, what a waste. I can imagine your shock finding out about their arrest, as it does affect your children.
    I am glad that you have moved on and hopefully gotten stronger and happier.
    Thank you again and God Bless you and your children.

  3. I always wish the best for everyone and everything. Only the truth will spare everyone and hopefully thats what will come of all this , is the truth. Thats all anyone wants.
    And you are so right about our children being angels and a joy to everyone.I love my children with all my heart and they have been nothing but a joy to have. I was very blessed.

    Some of us just dont see that( I guess, to what I have seen through these two ppl ).

    But that some can kill and really have no feelings to what they had done. No pity ,no thought, no emotion no guilt no remorse for their actions.(In this case go on like nothign ever happened) And really how dare they take a soul of another and have no thought of that is someones loved one. Their little angel , their brother , father etc.. And they should get what they deserve , to whoever did that to him. Its wrong and whoever could do such things to people deserves to pay for their actions.
    I pray and hope that all will come out and the truth will be told.
    Your family deserves that.

  4. Thank you again, and yes, the truth will be told, I have no doubt justice will finally be served. If you go to the trial, would love to meet you. Sharron

  5. I would love to be there but am unable to.

    Ive been reading so much about all this from anyone and everyone who has wrote something on here( online). Each thing seems to have something a little more info then the next. The last one I read was from the News Observer which had said stuff about what Hayden had said in court (about leaving NC).
    That he only left if he had orders. Which was stated by him. I am not sure what really goes on in court cause Im not there. But its not true. He left a few times for his son Sterling and us and actually stayed in Vicki house during the time of his stay in Cali in 94. He also had left on another account with Sterling to Texas as well in 96. So thats not true about leaving his state only if he had orders.

    I suppose I cant believe everythign I read or that I can even make an arguement of anything cause Im not apart of all this besides my children being family but I do know just as I had said his statement there is not true. He has left his state before and it wasnt cause of orders only. He lies just as well as he did the crime and hopefully not only will you and I see this but the courts will too!!!

    Everyone is in my prayers!!!