Texas man gets 20 years for trying to kill judge

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Associated Press

Posted on March 18, 2014 at 9:02 AM

DALLAS (AP) — A 72-year-old Fort Worth man has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for trying to hire someone to kill a federal judge.

Phillip Monroe Ballard was sentenced Monday in federal court in Dallas. A jury convicted Ballard in December in the murder-for-hire plot.

Prosecutors say Ballard was incarcerated on an unrelated criminal matter in September 2012 when he asked another inmate to help him arrange the death of the judge. The judge was overseeing a separate case in which Ballard had been indicted on tax charges.

The other inmate testified at the December trial and said Ballard was willing to pay $100,000 to have the judge killed.

The judge was not harmed.

Ballard's defense had claimed he never intended on following through with the plot to kill the judge.

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