Tuesday, April 21, 2009


All three co-defendants in the 1972 William Miller homicide case entered a plea of “not guilty” Monday during their arraignments - THIS IS A BIG SURPRISE!!

April 21, 2009 - 2:59 PM
One by one, three co-defendants in the 1972 shooting death of a Camp Lejeune Marine entered pleas of "not guilty" during their arraignments Monday.
Rodger Gill, 56, George Hayden, 57, and Vickie Babbitt, 58, recently indicted on charges of first-degree murder and conspiracy in the death of Sgt. William Miller more than 36 years ago, each said they were innocent.
Investigators say Babbitt, now of Bend, Ore., and Miller were married at the time of Miller's death. Authorities say Hayden, now of Belhaven, moved in with Babbitt while Miller was deployed overseas. When Miller returned to Jacksonville in September 1972, he forcibly tossed Hayden out of his home and Babbitt went with him, according to court records.
Miller was found gunned down on Western Boulevard on Sept. 16, 1972. He had been shot once in the back and once in the head.
Investigators say Babbitt lured Miller to his death and that Gill, now of Athens, Ill., was present when Hayden - a former police chief in Carteret County - allegedly shot Miller with an M-16.
Gill's attorney, Kinston lawyer Bill Gerrans, provided The Daily News on Monday with a statement from his client.
In the statement, Gill says that he and Miller were friends and coworkers, and that Gill lived with him and Vickie in 1972.
"I did not shoot Bill Miller," Gill said in the statement. "I was not involved in any plan or conspiracy to harm Bill Miller, nor did I participate in any such act."
Gill said he has had no contact with Hayden or Babbitt in more than 35 years.
"I hope and pray that the justice system in Onslow County, North Carolina, is fair as I am innocent of these charges," Gill said in his statement. "I did not harm Bill Miller in any way."
Gill reentered the scope of local investigators after his fiancée, the babysitter of the Miller's toddler child in 1972, came forward and told authorities Gill was there the night Miller was killed. She later told The Daily News she felt she had gotten a dear friend in trouble.
Babbitt's sister-in-law, Jan Babbitt told reporters that she flew to Jacksonville to support her sister-in-law, who she believes is innocent. She described her sister-in-law as "confident and caring."
She said she wanted to see evidence in the case.
"So far, all it's been is talk and innuendo," she said.
All three defense lawyers have been sorting through the prosecution's evidence in the last week - more than 6,000 pages of documents, statements and electronic recordings.
Hayden and Babbitt have been released on bail. Gill is being held in the Onslow County Jail without bond. His attorney asked Onslow County Superior Court Judge Charles Henry to set Gill's bond low because his client does not own property for the court to hold in collateral.
Henry said he would make a decision by Monday.
State law precludes prosecutors from seeking the death penalty in the case since capital punishment had been declared unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court at the time of the homicide.

1 comment:

  1. Please check the NCVAN site for help in understanding the ins and outs of the criminal justice system. It is frustrating, slow and seemingly insenstivie to the families of victims, but it is the best our country has to offer in terms of justice. My heartfelt sympathy and wishes for a just end to the public part of your tragedy. the private part will never end as you already know.
    Please consider joining us at HALOS which meets the third Tuesday of each month at Brighton Gardens on Blue Ridge Road in Raleigh.