DeKalb woman convicted again of murdering husband for life insurance

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DeKalb woman convicted again of murdering husband for life insurance

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Kent D. Johnson
Pamela Ballin is escorted out of court in a 2014 hearing.

DeKalb County’s Pamela Ballin, the 56-year-old whose murder case has drawn national attention, has been convicted again of faking a home invasion and killing her husband.

A jury returned the guilty verdicts late Friday, finding she bludgeoned Derrick Ballin Sr., 53, on Dec. 29, 2009, in hopes of getting a $1.2 million life insurance pay out. This was the second time she’s been convicted of his murder.

After the first, in 2014, Judge Mark Anthony Scott decided to release her from custody, saying he wasn’t sure she received a fair trial. A month later, he decided she had been treated fairly and ordered her arrested.

Sentenced to life, Ballin appealed for a new trial after taking issue with a state’s witness’ testimony. She won and went back on trial last week, with the jury making the same determination about what she’d done.

Derrick Ballin was attacked in his Turnbridge Wells Road home near Lithonia. The wife called 911 and said home invaders had done it. DeKalb County police found the bloodied and barely conscious husband near the front door, with nearly a dozen wounds to the head from a statue that lay nearby.

The wife said she was hiding in her upstairs bedroom during the attack, listening to the “unfamiliar voices downstairs.”

The home was in disarray, but police could find no sign of a break-in.

An expert testified that the wife’s story was impossible based on the evidence at the scene.

No new sentencing date has been set. Rather than Scott, Judge Gail Flake is over the current trial.

Under Georgia law, the lowest possible penalty for murder is life. The only question is whether Ballin will ever have a chance at parole.

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