Local News

Suspected child molester slain in Cabarrus County

Posted January 3, 2010 12:12 p.m. EST
Updated January 3, 2010 9:23 p.m. EST

— The Cabarrus County Sheriff's Office says that a man charged with murder sought revenge on a man suspected of molesting a child.

WBTV, a CBS affiliate in Charlotte, reports that Christopher Michael Hartsell, 32, shot and killed William Lee Ballance, 47, in his residence in a small mobile home park early Friday.

Neighbors told WBTV that Hartsell had lived with Ballance, a convicted sex offender, until about a week ago. Around the same time that Hartsell moved out, rumors started that Ballance had recently molested a child.

On Thursday, the Cabarrus County Sheriff's Office issued warrants for Ballance's arrest on sex-related charges, including first-degree rape of a child. Ballance was slain before they could be served.

More details of the case aren't being reported to protect the victim's identity.

Hartsell was being held in the Cabarrus County Jail Saturday without bond.

Ballance was sentenced to 20 months' probation for a 1998 conviction for taking indecent liberties with a minor in Guilford County, according to state Department of Correction records. DOC records show he also got probation in 2007 for possession of a firearm by a felon.