By Paul Daquilante • Staff Writer • 

Defendant in Sheridan shooting was victim’s live-in caregiver

Danny Babbitt, indicted by a grand jury over the shooting of his roommate on Sunday, Feb. 13, at their Sheridan residence, has been acting as the victim’s caregiver, according to a probable cause statement. The two men have lived together six years.

The 62-year-old Babbitt is charged with one count each of first-degree assault, recklessly endangering another person and unlawful use of a weapon. The assault charge is a Class A felony and Measure 11 offense that falls under mandatory minimum sentencing guidelines. The weapon charge is a Class C felony and the third charge is a misdemeanor.

Babbitt was arraigned on the indictment by video Tuesday afternoon before Yamhill County Circuit Court Judge Ladd Wiles. Babbitt remains lodged in jail on $100,000 bail. His next court appearance is at 8:30 p.m. Thursday, March 17.

Sheriff’s deputy Shane Matlock gave this account of the incident:

Babbitt called the Yamhill Communications Agency 911 dispatch center about 7 p.m. and reported he had shot 63-year-old Kelly Sweet. When deputies arrived, the defendant walked out of the residence through the garage and was detained.

Sweet was found inside, sitting on a couch and holding paper towels to a single gunshot wound. He was transported by Sheridan Fire District ambulance to the Willamette Valley Medical Center and transferred by Life Flight helicopter to Legacy Emanuel Medical Center Hospital in Portland for treatment of a non-life-threatening wound.

A .410 Taurus Judge revolver was recovered from a coffee table.

Babbitt said Sweet is unable to drive because of physical limitations, but he’s mobile enough to walk and feed himself. He said he planned to be away from their residence for a few days and wanted to make sure Sweet’s necessities were taken care of, so he used Sweet’s Jeep to go to a local store where he purchased water.

Babbitt then went to a restaurant/bar on Main Street, and had four mixed drinks and watched the first half of the Super Bowl. After that, he drove home.

Upon his arrival, Sweet got angry with Babbitt for driving his vehicle to the restaurant/bar and an argument ensued. Babbitt said he could not remember what was said or what caused him to retrieve his revolver from a backpack in his room.

There was no physical struggle between the pair, according to Babbitt, who said he did not feel threatened and had no intention of harming or scaring Sweet.

“I did not expect the gun to go off and when it did he was just pushing me and pushing me,” Babbitt told the deputy. He was asked if only one round was fired, and Babbitt responded, “Yeah, you didn’t think I’d shoot him twice.”

The gun was loaded with buckshot. Babbitt said he is knowledgeable about gun safety.


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