Woman accused of killing her father appears in court

Published 10:06 am Monday, February 1, 2016

NW0131 murder suspect
A woman accused of killing her father by shooting him in the chest appeared in court Friday morning for arraignment.
Sonya Elaine Babb, 54, of 155 McKeehan Ridge Road, pled not guilty to a charge of first-degree murder in Carter County General Sessions Court before Judge Keith Bowers Jr. Babb is charged with the murder of her father, 77-year-old Kenneth Younce, a retired Carter County Constable.
During her arraignment Friday morning, Babb was visibly upset. As she stood at the podium before the judge, Babb dropped her head and her shoulders shook as she sobbed and tears ran down her face.
Bowers asked Babb if she intended to hire her own attorney or if she wanted the court to appoint one for her.
“I don’t have the money for a lawyer,” Babb replied.
Bowers asked Babb to fill out a form in order to request a court-appointed attorney. After Babb completed the paperwork, Bowers called her back to the stand. As Bowers reviewed the form with Babb, the woman said she draws a disability check and has no other income or property.
After speaking with Babb, Bowers appointed the Public Defender’s Office to represent her.
Assistant Public Defender James Lonon said he was not aware of any conflicts his office would have in representing Babb, but requested Bowers grant him time to check.
Bowers scheduled Babb to return to General Sessions Court on Feb. 5 and said if any conflict with the Public Defender’s Office was discovered he would appoint private counsel to represent her.
Lonon waived a formal reading of the charge against Babb and entered a plea of not guilty on behalf of his client.
Bowers reviewed the bond set in the case and decided to leave it unchanged at $250,000.
On Wednesday afternoon, officers of the Carter County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of a person being shot at 153 McKeehan Ridge Road. When officers arrived at the home, witnesses said Babb had shot her father in the chest with a .40 caliber pistol.
Carter County Sheriff Dexter Lunceford said Younce’s wife and another daughter were able to take the gun away from Babb and placed it under the porch until officers arrived.
Babb was arrested at the scene and taken to the Sheriff’s Office to be interviewed by investigators.
“After reading her a Miranda Warning, Sonya Babb agreed to speak with me, and during our conversation Sonya Babb admitted to killing her father by shooting him with his own gun,” CCSO Sgt. Stacy McKinney said. “When I asked Sonya Babb why she shot him, she stated it was because she believed that Kenneth Younce had killed her son, Seth Babb. I assured Sonya Babb that her son was alive.
“Then later in the conversation I asked her why she killed her father Kenneth Younce again, and she stated it was because of the way he has abused us and never said that he was sorry,” McKinney added.

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