Thursday, January 22, 2009


Man arrested in Danville fights extradition to North Carolina
By Tracy Moss
Thursday, January 22, 2009 7:03 AM CDT
DANVILLE – Law enforcement officials in North Carolina are seeking a governor's warrant for an Athens, Ill., man who's fighting extradition after he was arrested last week in Vermilion County on murder charges in a 36-year-old case.
Rodger A. Gill, 56, was arrested Friday at Veterans Affairs Illiana Health Care System in Danville on the out-of-state murder charges and was arraigned Tuesday in Vermilion County Circuit Court on a charge of being a fugitive from justice.

The Illinois charge allows authorities to hold him while the extradition process takes place.
Gill lives in Athens, a small town northwest of Springfield, but last week was undergoing a procedure at the Danville hospital when he was arrested by Danville police on the North Carolina murder warrant.
The warrant was issued last week by an Onslow County, N.C., superior court judge for Gill's alleged involvement in the 1972 shooting death of William Miller, a Marine sergeant who was stationed near Jacksonville, N.C., at Camp Lejeune in 1972.
The 36-year-old case broke open last year when Gill's former fiancee told North Carolina law enforcement officials that Gill had witnessed Mr. Miller's shooting death. The former fiancee's tip was prompted by a news story in the Jacksonville, N.C., area, highlighting local cold cases.
In 1972, Mr. Miller, a Marine sergeant who had just returned from a tour of duty overseas, was found shot in the back and the head along a road near Camp Lejeune. Mr. Miller's wife, Vickie Babbitt, who now lives in Bend, Ore., was questioned in the case but never arrested. The couple had a toddler daughter at the time, and her babysitter was Gill's fiancee.
When the case broke last summer, Capt. Rick Sutherland with the Onslow County sheriff's department, and another investigator traveled to Athens to question Gill.
Babbitt was questioned again in the case and investigators also questioned George Hayden of Cape Carteret, N.C., a former Marine who married Babbitt after Mr. Miller's death. Babbitt and Hayden later divorced.
After the renewed investigation was complete, Sutherland said, the information was turned over to the Onslow County district attorney's office, which then charged Babbitt and Hayden with Mr. Miller's murder. That was in October.
Then a few weeks ago, Sutherland said, an Onslow County grand jury also indicted Gill in the case on charges of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder.
Sutherland said he and another investigator returned to Athens last week to carry out the warrant for Gill's arrest on the indictment and learned that he was receiving medical treatment in Danville. They traveled to Danville and with assistance from Danville police and VA police arrested Gill.
Vermilion County Sheriff Pat Hartshorn said North Carolina law enforcement officials will apply to the Illinois governor's office for a governor's warrant that would be served on Gill, demanding that he be sent to North Carolina to face the charges against him.
Sutherland expects Gill, who's being held at the Vermilion County Jail on a $5 million bond, to be in North Carolina in a matter of weeks to face the charges

1 comment:

  1. I watched Dateline tonight and saddened by the suffering that has occurred in your family. I know you will support Wendy-Jo as she will need all of you during her mother & step father's trial. God Bless all of you during these difficult times ahead and hope your family finds peace in the outcome. Court outcomes are sometimes disappointing so keep praying.