Edward Jermaine Babbs accused of murdering Stephanie Rabsatt and unborn son Jayden

Murder trial draws to a close

Jurors spent nearly four hours Monday listening to closing arguments in the case against Babbs, who is on trial for murdering 17-year-old Stephanie Rabsatt and their unborn son, Jayden.

Assistant State Attorney Deborah Zimet said Babbs sent the text messages to Rabsatt's phone in an early attempt at an alibi, one of several that crumbled as investigators closed in on him as the murder suspect.

The prosecutor described the crime in terms that left the victim's family members sobbing.

Rabsatt and Babbs were both 17 at the time of the murder, and she was nearly eight months pregnant. Zimet said the victim met up with Babbs in a car she borrowed, and the two went out for a late night rendezvous in the parking lot of a Miramar Winn-Dixie on Oct. 1, 2009.

The evidence, Zimet said, indicated that Rabsatt was comfortable with her killer and was preparing to have sex with him in the car when she first noticed the gun. The victim was shot in the back of the head, showing she tried in a moment of terror to get away, Zimet said.

Rabsatt was also shot in the abdomen, proving the killer targeted the baby.

"That baby was aborted by a gunshot wound," said Zimet, who added she did not know which bullet was fired first. "Why put a gunshot wound to the belly? Who would do such a thing? This young man," she said, pointing to Babbs.

Babbs' lawyer, Jerome Stone, said the timeline presented during the three-week trial showed Babbs could not have committed the crime because witnesses put him a few miles away from the victim at a time when they should have been together. Stone also said Rabsatt spent more than four hours on the phone with someone else the night before the murder, according to cellphone records, and no one is sure who that person was.

Babbs did not testify at the trial and his attorney didn't call any witnesses.

"There is no physical evidence that ties Babbs to the crime scene," Stone said. He added that Babbs' family helped organize a baby shower for Rabsatt and that the would-be dad had overcome his earlier opposition to the pregnancy. "He began to accept the responsibility of being the father of this child."

But Zimet said Babbs tried to talk one friend into taking the murder weapon and another friend into saying they were hanging out together when the shooting took place. The first friend led police to the gun, while the second recanted the alibi after he learned of the murder.

Jurors are set to begin deliberations Tuesday morning.

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