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Local News

Romeoville man pleads guilty to second-degree murder in baseball bat death

19-year-old Romeoville man sentenced to 10 years in prison

A 19-year-old Romeoville man pleaded guilty to a charge of second-degree murder for striking a 55-year-old man in the head with a baseball bat resulting in his death.

The bench trial for Adam Ballard of the 300 block of Healy Avenue, began Monday but ended the next day after he pleaded guilty to second-degree murder.

Ballard was sentenced to
10 years in prison. With credit for already serving more than four and a half years in the Will County jail and day-for-day good time, Ballard could be eligible to be released from prison in a matter of months.

Ballard and his father, Mark Ballard, 47, were indicted on first-degree murder charges in connection with the death of Richard Pollack in August 2014.

Mark Ballard’s case has yet to go to trial. He remains in the county jail.

Both Adam Ballard and his father allegedly used a baseball bat while fighting with Pollack during a 2 a.m. street brawl in the 400 block of Tallman Avenue in Romeoville.

Adam Ballard, who was 15 at the time of the incident, claimed he struck Pollack in self defense.

Carole Cheney, spokeswoman for the Will County State’s Attorney’s Office, said in light of the evidence at trial, the guilty plea from Adam Ballard was the best result that could be obtained. Cheney did not elaborate on said evidence.

The second-degree murder charge states Adam Ballard struck Pollack in the head while knowing it would create the strong probability of death.

The charge states Adam Ballard believed the circumstances, “if they existed,” would justify or exonerate the killing but “his belief was unreasonable.”

Romeoville Police Chief Mark Turvey said several combatants were armed with baseball bats during the 2014 street brawl. Witnesses reported seeing Adam and Mark Ballard strike Pollack in the head with a baseball bat, police said previously. Pollack was taken to Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital, where he died an hour later.

After his arrest, Adam Ballard was booked into River Valley Juvenile Detention Center.

In 2016, Will County Judge Paula Gomora made a ruling that the juvenile court would not keep Adam Ballard’s case and he would face the first-degree murder charge as an adult.

Adults convicted of first-degree murder face a minimum 20-year sentence.

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