1-2-2010 North Carolina:
CONCORD, N.C. -- A father is behind bars, accused of shooting a man to death.
Cabarrus County Sheriff’s Deputies say the case could be related to the alleged sexual assault of his child.
Sheriff’s Deputies say 46 year old William Ballance once lived with a family just outside of Concord.
He moved out once the father in that home accused Ballance of sexually abusing his child. For the sake of that child we’re not reporting the family’s name, address, or picture.
Deputies gathered enough to take out a warrant against Ballance on December 31 for those sexual abuse charges, but on January first, deputies found Ballance dead at his mobile home from apparent gun-shot wounds.
“I heard three dense fires,” explains one neighbor who did not want to be identified.
He says the noises that came from Ballance's home early New Year's morning sounded, “more like a weapon than it did anything else. It was two shots then another one.”
Deputies arrested the father of the child Ballance is accused of sexually assaulting.
They charged that father with Ballance’s murder.
Neighbors say the allegations make it sound like a revenge killing, and have a tough time faulting the father. “I just hope that they get to the truth of it.”
But they don’t like to see justice handled outside of the courtroom. “You can’t take action into your own hands, you have to let the courts take care of it.”
Deputies say the father was aware that Ballance was a registered sex offender. He was convicted of taking indecent liberties with a minor in 1998 in Guilford County. That was a surprise to neighbors.
By law registered sex offenders are not allowed to be left alone with minors, but they are not prohibited from living in the same house with them.
Deputies say they had explained the laws to Ballance when he first moved in with the family.
The father accused of shooting Ballance is being held without bond in the Cabarrus County Jail. ..Source.. ALEX REED / NewsChannel 36
Suspected child molester murdered
1-3-2010 North Carolina:
CABARRUS COUNTY, NC (WBTV) - A man is charged with murdering a suspected child molester who preyed on his family.
Cabarrus County officials say Chris Hartsell,32, shot and killed William Ballance,47.
It happened Friday inside Ballance's home inside the Oakland Glen Mobile Home Park.
Arrest records show Ballance was a registered sex offender. He was convicted in 1998 of taking indecent liberties with a child and served five years probation. Most of his neighbors were aware of the prior conviction.
"Everybody pretty much kept an eye on the kids around here," said neighbor Robert Holmes.
Neighbors say Hartsell moved out of Ballance's house about a week ago. Around that time, allegations surfaced of Ballance allegedly molesting Hartsell's young relative.
"He seemed like a pretty nice guy, the sex offender thing just don't fit," said neighbor Clarence Williams.
Sheriff's deputies issued warrants for Ballance Thursday for sex-related charges, including 1st degree rape of a child. But before they could arrest him, they say Hartsell got his revenge.
"I guess you can only take so much and then you react," said Holmes.
Neighbor Clarence Williams says he never felt threatened by Ballance and even let his grandchildren visit.
He was shocked to hear about the shooting.
"I really don't know what to think at this point, it just don't fit what I knew of him," said Williams.
The Cabarrus County Sheriff's office verified Ballance's address in October.
According to the law, sex offenders can be around children, just not by themselves.
WBTV has chosen not release certain details of this story, because it is our policy not to identify sexual assault victims.
Hartsell is now being held without bond in the Cabarrus County Jail. He's charged with murder. ..Source.. by Sarah Batista
Suspected child molester slain in Cabarrus County
1-3-2010 North Carolina:
Concord, N.C. — The Cabarrus County Sheriff's Office says that a man charged with murder sought revenge on a man suspected of molesting a child.
WBTV, a CBS affiliate in Charlotte, reports that Christopher Michael Hartsell, 32, shot and killed William Lee Ballance, 47, in his residence in a small mobile home park early Friday.
Neighbors told WBTV that Hartsell had lived with Ballance, a convicted sex offender, until about a week ago. Around the same time that Hartsell moved out, rumors started that Ballance had molested a child.
On Thursday, the Cabarrus County Sheriff's Office issued warrants for Ballance's arrest on sex-related charges, including first-degree rape of a child. Ballance was slain before they could be served.
More details of the case aren't being reported to protect the victim's identity.
Hartsell was being held in the Cabarrus County Jail Saturday without bond.
Ballance was sentenced to 20 months' probation for a 1998 conviction for taking indecent liberties with a minor in Guilford County, according to state Department of Correction records. DOC records show he also got probation in 2007 for possession of a firearm by a felon. ..Source.. by WRAL.com