Convicted Killer Avoids Death Penalty

Chris Ballard
Chris Ballard

(CINCINNATI) -- Christopher Ballard will not get the death penalty for the murder of Tina Dukes.

A three judge panel made that decision Friday in court. Ballard will get life in prison with the possibility for parole in 38 to 45 years.

If he is ever released, he will have to register as a 3rd degree sexual offender.

Ballard admitted to killing Dukes in 1987 then dumping her body in a home on John St. Dukes was just 11 years old at the time. He also tried to rape her and burned her body.

Ballard was arrested for the crime in 2006 after DNA evidence linked him to the case. He was 25 at the time and had been living in Dayton.

Dukes' family said they were satisfied that justice was served.

"He got a whole bunch of time to think about what he did to my little niece," said Tina's uncle.