Register | Forgot Your Password? | Close

PHOENIX -- Eighteen years after a man was shot to death inside his business, Phoenix police have finally made an arrest.

Dean Babbitt, 69, is now charged with premeditated first-degree murder in the death of his business partner, Robert Krahn.

Krahn was found dead from a single gunshot wound to the head on Feb. 3, 1996. Detective Clark Schwartzkopf said Babbitt reported the death and had been a suspect right from the start.

"He's always been a strong investigative lead," said Schwartzkopf. "The investigators at that time didn't believe that they had enough evidence to prosecute him."

Thanks to today's technology, that changed.

"Over the last several months, we've been able to tie some loose ends together on the case," Schwartzkopf said. "Through forensic imagery, re-looking at the crime scene, doing interviews and re-interviewing people, we believe we've gone through that threshold (that we have enough to prosecute)."

He would not talk about any of the evidence in the case.

Krahn's father, Robert Krahn Sr., was emotional when he heard the good news but said it didn't take away the pain of losing his son.

"I still remember when my daughter said on the phone, ‘Bob is dead,'" Krahn said. "Nobody should lose their kids."

Schwartzkopf said that the Maricopa County Attorney's Office has agreed to go ahead with the prosecution, and police are confident of a conviction.

Schwartzkopf said that he hopes the arrest gives Krahn's family some well-deserved closure.

Bob McClay, Reporter

share this story:
Attention KTAR.com Comment Users: We have recently changed our comments boards.
We would like you to be part of the conversation and The Voice of Arizona by logging in with your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Disqus account. Existing KTAR (Arizona Sports) account members will need to create a Disqus account or use one of the aforementioned social media logins. Thank you.
comments powered by Disqus

World Class Arizona

  • Dignity Health

    World Class People. World Class Company. Excellent care, delivered with compassion, for all in need.

Voice For A Better Arizona

  • Family in Focus

    KTAR spends the week taking a look at the issues a modern Arizona family faces.