Police Sergeant Strangles His Wife
(IN) – In October of last year, Sergeant Boyce J. Ballinger, with the Fort Wayne Police Department, had been out drinking with friends. When he got home, his wife asked him how much he had to drink. Ballinger became incensed and charged at her, placing his hands around her neck with enough force to leave injuries, and pushing her up against a wall. According to WANE.com,
Once Ballinger took his hands off of her, she then ran upstairs into the bedroom and locked the door, the affidavit said.
Ballinger followed his wife and proceeded to bang on the door, the affidavit said. She said it was “like he was breaking the door,” she told police.
Ballinger was charged with Strangulation, which is a felony level charge, and Domestic Battery, which is a misdemeanor.
No Contact Order Issued
Ballinger was allowed to bond out of jail and the judge issued a no contact order. Not long after, Ballinger’s wife filed for a divorce. As is very common for abusers, this set Ballinger off. He violated probation by stalking his wife, at one point even confronting her. She reported his actions which which lead to his probation being revoked and Ballinger being arrested.
Ballinger was supposed to go to trial in June, but on February 11 he requested a change of plea hearing. It appears he decided to plead guilty to the charges. Sentencing was set for February 25.
Judge’s Sentence Unbelievably Lenient
As I’ve mentioned before, the prosecution works very closely with police and tend to be lenient with them when an officer breaks the law. I can see why Ballinger changed his plea to guilty. According to an updated article by WANE.com,
As part of Ballinger’s plea agreement with Allen County prosecutors, he must abide by a no-contact order and complete a counseling program. He also must maintain fulltime employment, avoid drugs and alcohol, and have no criminal offense.
If Ballinger fulfills the terms of the deal, his felony conviction will be vacated and dismissed.
Ballinger was released outright with only a 1 1/2 year probation term that included the above conditions. You can’t get much more of sweetheart deal than that. If he manages to act like a decent person for a year and a half, the charges will be dropped and the case dismissed. Once a case is listed as dismissed, more than likely he can expunge that case from his record. That means after assaulting his wife and getting a felony charge of Strangulation, he can go on with his life as if nothing happened.
The only real consequences of his actions are his termination from the Fort Wayne Police Department. I wonder if he loses his peace officer’s license upon conviction? If not then it would seem that once he has a clean record again, he can go to another police department. The system needs to be fixed.