Suffolk police officers arrested 

Published 4:10 pm Friday, August 18, 2023

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Two Suffolk police officers have been arrested on felony charges of obtaining money under false pretenses.

Senior police officer Marco Leslie was charged and arrested Monday, and Master police officer James Babor was charged and arrested Thursday, according to City of Suffolk media and community relations director Jennifer Moore.

In addition to obtaining money under false pretenses Babor also faces one count forging and utter a public document and one count of computer fraud. 

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Moore confirmed that both officers have been placed on administrative leave. 

As previously reported in the Suffolk News-Herald, Babor was the subject of an $8 million civil lawsuit, eventually settled out of court, alleging wrongful death. 

The lawsuit was filed by Virginia Walker Kinsey, the mother of 28-year-old Corey Jason Achstein, who died when he was shot on Dec. 28, 2015, near his home on Causey Avenue. Babor fired the fatal shot, which was captured on his body camera. He was responding after dark that evening to a report of a man with a weapon who was threatening a group of teens.

A document filed Oct. 2, 2017, in Suffolk Circuit Court does not give details on the settlement. It references only a “certain compromise agreement that has been offered on behalf of the defendant, police officer James Babor, in full and final settlement of all claims as the result of the wrongful death of Corey Jason Achstein in an incident occurring on Dec. 28, 2015.” 

According to a report by Commonwealth’s Attorney C. Phillips “Phil” Ferguson, Babor responded to the call that night, found Achstein matching the description and ordered him to the ground. Achstein lay down on his back with his hands out to his sides. But when another police vehicle approached from the opposite direction, Achstein sat up. That’s when Babor fired his weapon once, striking Achstein in the back. Achstein later died at the hospital. Police later found a realistic-looking metallic pellet gun about 10 feet from Achstein’s body, 

After an investigation, Ferguson declined to press criminal charges against Babor. Ferguson wrote in his May 2016 decision that Babor was justified in believing Achstein was a deadly threat, because he had information that Achstein had a weapon, Achstein was ignoring commands to show his hands and Achstein moved in a manner that could be perceived as threatening.