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Arrest Warrant Issued for Convicted Murderer Judge Released

Judge Mark Anthony Scott set Pamela Ballin, 53, of Lithonia free after a jury convicted her of beating her husband to death. The judge has now reversed course and ordered her arrest.

Judge Mark Anthony Scott set Pamela Ballin, 53, of Lithonia free last week after she was convicted of murder. She is due back in court July 17. File|Patch
Judge Mark Anthony Scott set Pamela Ballin, 53, of Lithonia free last week after she was convicted of murder. She is due back in court July 17. File|Patch

A DeKalb County woman convicted last week of killing her husband was allowed to go free by a judge while he decides whether to set aside the jury verdict, which outraged the victim’s family.

Following an emergency motion by prosecutors that argues the judge has no such leeway in the case, an arrest warrant was issued Wednesday for Pamela Ballin.

"We're really elated. I'm glad he did that. Hopefully the judge will make the right decision on the 17th and incarcerate her," Evora Ritchie, mother of  Ballin’s late husband, Derrick “Ricky” Ballin, told WGCL TV.

Ricky Ballin was found beaten to death inside the couple's DeKalb County home in December 2009. His wife told police that intruders beat her husband during a home break-in. But, prosecutors didn’t believe her story; instead she was indicted and convicted of malice murder, felony murder and aggravated assault.

Judge Mark Anthony Scott set Pamela Ballin, 53, of Lithonia free after the jury verdict. In court documents he said prosecutors failed to tell him that Pamela Ballin's bond had been revoked, which is used to ensure people show up for court.

“This court did not intend to release Defendant Pamela Ballin into the community with no bond,” Scott wrote in the arrest warrant, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “The court has concerns about Defendant Ballin’s bond not being secured.”

WGCL says DeKalb County District Attorney Robert James filed an emergency motion seeking Ballin’s arrest, which says: "Judge Mark Anthony Scott has no discretion and must impose a mandatory life sentence and judge Scott has no legal authority to enter a post-verdict for mistrial."

Pamela Ballin has been free on bond since shortly after her arrest in early 2010 on charges she killed her husband of 24 years, the AJC says. Scott has scheduled a hearing for July 17 to decide whether to let the guilty verdict stand or grant either an acquittal or a mistrial. 

Ballin’s lawyer, Keith Adams, told the newspaper he asked for a mistrial because a key state witness, the crime scene investigator, ignored a court order to be available to be called to testify by the defense and went on vacation. The expert then testified by Skype, which Adams said was ineffective because he couldn’t properly question her about crime scene photos because she could not see them.

laurahagen July 10, 2014 at 01:51 PM
AMEN TO JUDGE SCOTT FOR BRAVELY FOLLOWING THE LAW - AND BRAVELY REVERSING IF HE IN FACT OVERSTEPPED HIS AUTHORITY - BOTH ACTS WERE TRULY EFFORTS TO FOLLOW THE LAW - AND TAKE A LOT OF CHARACTER AND STRENGTH, NOT TO MENTION TIME TO CONSIDER BOTH SIDES AND THE LAW. Scott is the best, most fair judge - who actually knows and follows the law. I would trust that he acted to the best of his advisors as to the law. There are a number of valid legal issues pointed out by the defense attorney. If the outcome is so important - then the prosecution witness can't ignore the law - and have jurors - who don't know the law - convict someone anyway. It could be pure laziness - but it could be a commonly used method to avoid truly testifying - and or committing perjury. It is CLEARLY stated in GA law how testimony must be conducted - and the SKYPE BS - and other procedures were CLEARLY violated. LAURA RICHARDSON HAGEN

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