NEW INFO: George Hayden Spends First Night In Prison

A former police chief, who stands convicted of first degree murder, spent his first night in a state prison Wednesday.

George Hayden, who was police chief in Belhaven and Cape Carteret, was found guilty Wednesday afternoon for the 1972 murder of William Miller. The jury deliberated about 10 hours over three days to reach their verdict.

The Department of Correction tells WITN News that Hayden was brought to Central Prison in Raleigh Wednesday night. There he will be processed and it will be determined if he'll remain at that prison or be sent to another facility to begin serving his life sentence.

The DOC would not say whether Hayden would receive any special security provisions because he is an ex-cop.


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The former Belhaven police chief has been found guilty of murder. The verdict came down just before 2:50 p.m. after three days of deliberations.

George Hayden was sentenced to life in prison and then led off to the Onslow County jail in handcuffs.

As the verdict was read in court Hayden's wife shook her head no. The judge denied a defense motion to dismiss the verdict based on insufficient evidence.

Hayden was on trial for killing William Miller in Onslow County. Miller, a Camp Lejeune Marine, was found dead along Western Boulevard. Miller's wife at the time of his death, who later married Hayden, is also accused in his murder.

The case went unsolved until 2008 when a new witness came forward with information on the case.

Miller's family was quick to react to the guilty verdict. "Justice has been done after all these years. We could not feel better," said Miller's sister Georgia McNay. "I feel, you know to be honest with you I feel bad for his family. They're innocent bystanders in this. But for us finally getting justice for Billy just feels so good."

Jurors spent about 10 hours over three days deciding Hayden's fate. After the verdict there was a question of possible juror misconduct. Under questioning, one juror told the judge it took her until the last minute to find Hayden guilty. "I didn't think he was guilty," she told the judge. "This was hard."

The judge said he found no jury misconduct and then denied a second defense motion to set aside the verdict.


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Jurors are in the third day of deliberations in the George Hayden murder trial in Jacksonville.

The jurors sent the judge a note Wednesday morning, reportedly stating they are having a hard time agreeing upon a verdict. The judge responded by telling the jury to do the right thing.

Hayden, a former Belhaven police chief, is accused of killing a fellow Marine back in 1972 as part of a love triangle.

Jurors began deliberating Friday afternoon, but after two hours the judge sent them home for the weekend. Monday morning it was discovered that one juror was in the hospital. The judge put deliberations on hold until Tuesday morning at 10:00 a.m. They concluded at 5:00 p.m. Tuesday with no verdict and returned Wednesday morning at 9:50 a.m.

Hayden is accused in the shooting death of William Miller in Onslow County. Miller, a Camp Lejeune Marine, was found dead along Western Boulevard. Miller's wife at the time of his death, who later married Hayden, is also accused in his murder.

The case went unsolved until 2008 when a new witness came forward with information on the case.


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There's a snag in the murder trial of a former police chief on trial for murder--a juror is in the hospital.

Jurors deliberated about two hours Friday afternoon in the case against George Hayden before the judge sent them home for the weekend. When they returned at 10:00 a.m. it was discovered that one of those jurors is in the hospital. The two alternate jurors, which are on standby in case a juror can't continue, were dismissed Friday when deliberations began.

Jurors will now return Tuesday morning to resume deliberations. The judge says by then the missing juror will be okay to attend.

Hayden, who was police chief in Belhaven, is accused in the 1972 shooting death of William Miller in Onslow County. Miller, a Camp Lejeune Marine, was found dead along Western Boulevard. Miller's wife at the time of his death, who later married Hayden, is also accused in his murder.


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A former police chief could find out his fate later today as an Onslow County jury will continue deliberations in his murder trial.

George Hayden, who was police chief in Belhaven, is on trial for the 1972 shooting death of William Miller in Onslow County. Miller, a Camp Lejeune Marine, was found dead along Western Boulevard. Miller's wife at the time of his death, who later married Hayden, is also accused in his murder.

Jurors deliberated about two hours Friday afternoon. The judge sent them home at 4:30 p.m., telling them to return at 10:00 a.m. Monday.

Stay with WITN News and witn.com for more on this developing story.


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A jury deciding the fate of a former police chief accused of murder deliberated two hours Friday without reaching a verdict. At 4:30 p.m. the judge sent the 12 men and women home for the weekend.

George Hayden, who was police chief in Belhaven, is on trial for the 1972 shooting death of William Miller in Onslow County. Miller, a Camp Lejeune Marine, was found dead along Western Boulevard. Miller's wife at the time of his death, who later married Hayden, is also accused in his murder.

Hayden decided not to take the witness stand, nor was any evidence presented by his lawyer.

If convicted he could get up to life in prison.

Closing arguments ended about 12:45 p.m. The judge then called for a break, and the case will resumed at 2:00 p.m. with jury instructions. The jury started their deliberations around 2:30 p.m.

Judge Ken Crow told the jurors to return Monday morning at 10:00 a.m.


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A judge has thrown out a conspiracy charge against a former police chief accused of a murder more than three decades ago. This as George Hayden has chosen not to take the witness stand.

Hayden, who was police chief in Belhaven, is on trial for the 1972 shooting death of William Miller in Onslow County. Miller, a Camp Lejeune Marine, was found dead along Western Boulevard. Miller's wife at the time of his death, who later married Hayden, is also accused in his murder.

At the end of the state's case, Hayden's lawyer moved to have the charges dismissed. The judge agreed to toss out the conspiracy charge, but kept the first degree murder count.

Hayden did not take the witness stand, and his lawyer rested their case without presenting any evidence.

Lawyers should begin their closing arguments in the case Friday morning.


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Day three of the murder trial involving a former police chief took a turn Wednesday.

George Hayden, the former Belhaven Police Chief, is accused of killing William Miller back in 1972 over what police say was a love triangle involving Miller's wife at the time, Vicki Babbitt.

The state called Rodger Gill to testify. He told jurors about the conversation he had with Hayden where he says Hayden admitted he stole an M-16 from a ship. Prosecutors used his testimony to prove Hayden had an M-16, which experts say was used to killed Miller.

Gill and Babbitt are also charged with murder in the case. Gill was granted testimonial immunity in which his testimony would not be used against him in his trial.

PREVIOUS STORY:

Testimony began Tuesday in the trial of a former police chief accused of murder that happened more than two decades ago.

George Hayden, the former police chief in Belhaven in Beaufort County, is accused of killing William Miller back in 1972.

Twelve jurors and two alternates were selected Tuesday to hear the case.

Miller's sister Sharron Aguilar was the first person to take the stand. She talked about the conversation between her and her brother the night he fought Hayden over a love triangle involving his wife.

Miller's family had a difficult time hearing some of the details involving the murder of their loved one, but still they say they need closure.

Hayden's attorney said the state had nothing on his client back then and still doesn't have anything on him now.

Hayden faces murder and conspiracy charges.

Miller's wife at the time -Vickie Babbitt, and a friend, are also charged in the murder. They will go to trial later this year.


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