DeKalb County judge lets convicted killer walk - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

DeKalb County judge lets convicted killer walk

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Pamela Ballin                                                          Judge Mark Anthony Scott Pamela Ballin Judge Mark Anthony Scott
DEKALB COUNTY, GA (CBS46) -

Evora Ritchie and her family were very happy Wednesday when a jury found Pamela Ballin guilty of malice murder, felony murder and aggravated assault.

"We expected they would take her back in handcuffs and lock her up," Ritchie said.

But that's not what DeKalb County Judge Mark Anthony Scott ordered after the jury found Pamela Ballin guilty on all three counts of murdering her husband Derrick "Ricky" Ballin.

"We're upset! The whole family is upset because it's been four-and-half years that we've waited," said Ritchie. "We finally get justice. Twelve people found her guilty and the judge lets her walk."

Ricky Ballin was found dead at the couple's DeKalb County home in 2009. Pamela Ballin told police some men beat him during a home invasion, but prosecutors said there was no evidence that supports her story.

"I mean she bludgeoned the man. He had 10 blows, I mean big blows," said Ritchie. "Can you imagine standing over someone hitting them ten times?"

Ricky Ballin's cousins said they don't understand why Judge Scott let a convicted murderer walk.

"First the lawyers asked him, 'Aren't you going to make a ruling on what he brought up?' He said he was going to wait until after the verdict and make the ruling," said Ritchie.

The jury deliberated for two-and-a-half days before returning the guilty verdict.

A CBS46 news team found Pamela Ballin at her business in DeKalb County. They tried to ask her about the jury's verdict and the judge's decision.

They saw Pamela Ballin, but an unidentified woman jumped in front of the news vehicle and stopped them from going any further on the property.

"How do you guys feel about the jury's verdict?" reporter Tony McNary asked.

"Get the {expletive} out. How's that?" the woman answered.

Judge Scott extended Pamela Ballin's bond and scheduled a hearing on July 17 to address the pending directed verdict.

The judge's colleagues agree this is an odd decision.

Prominent defense attorney and part-time Fulton County Judge Louis Levenson said this type of decision doesn't happen often.

He spoke with CBS46 right after he got off the bench Thursday evening.

"It is very peculiar because normally before a jury makes a decision, a judge makes a decision. He decides if the state's evidence is inadequate," said Levenson." Once the jury speaks it's unusual for the judge to be reserving a decision that was to have been made at the conclusion of the prosecutions case, normally. I'm not saying it can't be made at other times."

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