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Man pleads guilty in 2020 shooting that killed his brother's fiancée

Randy A. Sutt faces up to 71 years in prison in the death of Cecelia Laverne Babcock at a Greenwood home
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Posted at 12:07 PM, Sep 12, 2023

FRANKLIN — A Greenwood man pleaded guilty to murder and criminal recklessness in the 2020 shooting that killed his brother's fiancée.

Randy A. Sutt, 47, pleaded guilty Monday in Johnson Circuit Court in the April 13, 2020, death of Cecelia Laverne Babcock, Johnson County Prosecutor Lance Hamner said in a news release.

According to prosecutors, Sutt was living with his brother and Babcock when Sutt shot her once in the head at a home in the 300 block of Legacy Boulevard. Police said the three were in quarantine at the time after testing positive for Covid-19.

Prosecutors say Sutt later fired a single shot "in the direction" of one of the Greenwood officers responding to the scene. That bullet struck a fence behind the officer, who was not injured.

Sutt spoke to an officer on the phone and surrendered, police said.

Sutt pleaded guilty without a plea agreement and faces open sentencing, Hamner said, which means he faces the full weight of both charges and a possible sentence ranging from 45 to 71 years in prison.

"This killer will spend the better part of the rest of his life in prison," Hamner said in the news release.

"The victim’s loved ones have been waiting for justice for several years," Hamner said. "They’re pleased that they will finally have a measure of closure to this tragedy. They are also pleased that they will not have to go through a trial."

Johnson Circuit Court Judge Andrew S. Roesener scheduled Sutt's sentencing hearing for Nov. 6.