Johnson City man pleads guilty to murder in connection with New Year's Eve machete stabbing

A Johnson City man indicted on murder following the Dec. 31, 2021, stabbing death of an acquaintance has pleaded guilty.

Kyle C. Babola, 34, entered a guilty plea to a count of second-degree murder during an appearance Thursday in Broome County Court.

Babola originally pleaded not guilty when he was indicted on the murder charge in March 2022, following the death of 55-year-old Scott Groover, also of Johnson City.

Village police responded at about 6:30 p.m. New Year's Eve 2021 to a suspicious incident call, when they discovered Groover critically injured in the residence at 330 Floral Avenue.

He was pronounced dead shortly after being taken to a local hospital.

An autopsy performed at Lourdes Hospital in Binghamton determined Groover died from cardiac arrest caused by blood loss, police said.

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Prosecutors said Babola intentionally killed Groover by striking him multiple times with a machete during a dispute at the Floral Avenue address.

Babola, who had no prior criminal history in New York, faces 20 years to life in state prison when he is sentenced April 26.

“This was an inexplicable, senseless act of violence. By avoiding a trial, we hope that there can be some closure for the victim's family," Broome County District Attorney Michael Korchak said following the plea.

Babola has been incarcerated at the Broome County Jail without bail since his arrest Jan. 1, 2022.

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This article originally appeared on Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin: Binghamton-area man pleads guilty to murder in stabbing death