Appellate court upholds manslaughter conviction


KINGSTON – The Appellate Division, Third Department, unanimously affirmed the December 20, 2013 conviction of Gerald Babcock on a charge of manslaughter.
He was convicted of killing his fiancée, Jamielynn Bleakley, 36, at her Denning home in March 2013. She suffered from multiple sclerosis.
On March 6, Babcock beat her on the head causing severe head trauma, brain swelling and two large subdural hematomas, strangled her, and then dragged her outside into the freezing winter weather, down a set of stairs where he left her, barely conscious and hardly breathing, to die. She died the following day from multiple blunt force injuries and strangulation.
Following his conviction, Ulster County Court Judge Donald Williams sentenced Babcock to 25 years in prison to be followed by five years of post-release supervision.
On appeal, Babcock challenged the court’s pretrial ruling that allowed evidence of his prior acts of domestic violence against the victim. He also argued that the verdict, particularly with respect to the element of intent, was against the weight of the evidence, that the court’s imposition of the maximum sentence was unduly harsh and excessive and that county court erred when it failed to instruct five courtroom spectators, who were wearing purple ribbons that signified opposition to domestic violence, to remove those ribbons.
All claims were rejected by the appeals court.

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