Woman walks free after killing husband; Family outraged

by: Tom Jones Updated:

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DEKALB COUNTY, Ga - The family of a homicide victim is outraged after a judge let a woman, who a jury convicted, go free.

The family called the judge’s decision a slap in the face.

The family of Derrick Ricky Ballin doesn’t understand how it could happen. Ballin’s family told Channel 2's Tom Jones they've been waiting four and a half years for justice.

They thought they had it when they heard the jury’s guilty verdict last week.

Family members believed that when a jury finds someone guilty, that person is handcuffed and hauled off to jail. That didn’t happen and now the family wants answers.

Even though 12 people sitting on the jury in the Pamela Ballin murder trial found her guilty of beating her husband to death, Ballin still got to go home after the verdict.

Ballin was on trial accused of killing Rickey Ballin in their home in 2009.

She claimed he died during a home invasion. A jury disagreed and found her guilty of murder.

Prosecutors said DeKalb County Judge Mark Scott then released Ballin on her previous bond while he considers whether to issue a directed verdict.

“I’m baffled and disappointed,” said District Attorney Robert James.

He said a directed verdict is when the judge decides there’s not enough evidence for a case to go to a jury.

“But to have a directed verdict issued after the jury has deliberated and in fact found someone guilty is extraordinary,” he said.

On Tuesday, James filed an emergency motion to have Pamela Ballen returned to jail. James said Scott had no right to release Ballin and that he should impose a mandatory life sentence as the law states.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Judge Scott considering whether to dismiss charges against Ballin or accept jury&#39;s verdict. DA says judge must accept jury&#39;s verdict. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/wsbtv?src=hash">#wsbtv</a></p>&mdash; Tom Jones (@TomJonesWSB) <a href="https://twitter.com/TomJonesWSB/statuses/481443065660317696">June 24, 2014</a></blockquote><script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>