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Oct 27, 2009 5:41 PM by Jim Wilkeson - Web Content Producer

Ballard Found Guilty Of Murdering Wesley Mullins

A Woodford County jury on Tuesday found a Bourbon County man guilty of intentional murder and sodomy in the killing of a six-year-old Clark County boy back in 2007.

The jury found that Lewis "Buck" Ballard, 51, killed Wesley Mullins while the boy was visiting his grandfather's home in Bourbon County in August 2007. The prosecution contended that the boy was killed to keep him from talking about sexual abuse he suffered at the hands of Ballard.

The jury deliberated for five hours before coming to their verdict. During their deliberations Tuesday afternoon, they asked to re-watch the crime scene video originally shown during the prosecution's case. The video showed graphic images of Mullins' body as well as the surrounding scene inside the garage where the boy was killed.

The sentencing phase of the trial will begin at 9 a.m. Wednesday. Ballard could face the death penalty.

During closing arguments Tuesday morning, the defense claimed Ballard was charged because of a 'senseless police investigation' conducted by the Paris Police Department. Defense attorneys had argued during the trial that Mullins' grandfather should also have been investigated in the crime.

Prosecuting attorney Gordie Shaw told the jury during his closing argument Tuesday that the only thing worse than sodomizing and murdering a child is blaming the crime on the boy's grandfather.

Before the defense rested Monday, Ballard took the stand and testified in his own defense. He claimed he never touched and did not murder Mullins. He said would "take a monster" to do what was done to the boy.

The murder trial was moved to Woodford County after officials were unsuccessful in trying to seat an impartial jury in Bourbon County.

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