Leslie Ballard takes stand in ex-husband's trial

    5:50 PM, Oct 27, 2004   |    comments
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    It was shocking testimony in the trial of Mike MacKool, who's facing a capital murder charge in the death of his mother-in-law, Janie Ballard. On the witness stand, MacKool's ex-wife Leslie Ballard says her ex-husband made her do it. The defendant Mike MacKool appeared confident, but had little to say as he appeared in court. His attorneys have argued his ex-wife Leslie Ballard, who was convicted in May of killing her mother, acted alone. MacKool's defense lawyer Patrick Benca says, "Our position is that Leslie MacKool was operating under a lot of rage towards her mother and that's the sole reason she was in there September 12th." The State counters that MacKool had everything to do with what happened. Prosecuting Attorney W.A. McCormick says, "We think it's corroborative that their were problems with regard to Michael MacKool with Leslie's parent." Inside the courtroom, Leslie Ballard appeared visibly shaken and spoke softly about her relationship with MacKool. On the stand, Ballard said her parents never approved of their marriage. She testified it was after her father's death, that MacKool began telling her she should kill her mother. Ballard quoted MacKool as saying, "She really deserves to die and she needed to die." Ballard testified MacKool gave her details on how to kill her mother and make it appear that robbery was the motive. According to Ballard, she was to dress in black, wear a wig, ski mask and appear in black face. She was then told by Mike MacKool to wear bigger shoes, so they would think it was someone else and that this all had to be done within 30 days so that she could become the beneficiary of the estate. If not, according to Ballard's testimony, MacKool would kill both Ballard and her mother.

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