Convicted Detroit killer, Dwayne Ballinger, free with tether despite Michigan AG's request to put him behind bars

Judge rules Dwayne Ballinger should be granted new trial for 2006 Detroit murders; Ballinger already convicted


The fight was all played out in Federal Court where the convicted killer walked out, for the time being, a free man, although his every step is being watched.

A GPS tether is now strapped to Dwayne Ballinger, allowing his every move to be tracked by authorities. The tether was ordered by a judge who decided Ballinger should be granted a new trial.

"So the judge said, 'Why don't we give him a fair trial? That's what the Constitution said and that's what everyone is entitled to,'" said Sanford Schulman, Ballinger's attorney.

Schulman said while his client waits on a new trial he should not have to wait it out behind bars. Wearing a tether is only fair.

"The judge imposed some conditions and (Ballinger has) completely cooperated by those and abided by those," said Schulman.

Michigan Attorney General wants convicted killer behind bars

Attorney General Bill Schuette wants 31-year-old Ballinger locked up while he waits on the new trial. Ballinger was convicted in 2006 of murdering two men in Detroit. However, Schulman said his client never had an alibi witness called to the stand in the 2006 trial.

Schulman said since Ballinger was set free Monday, he has not harassed any witnesses in the case, he is not a danger to the public and he is ready to stand trial, again.

That's something Schuette disagrees with, calling Ballinger a danger to his community.

"He is doing everything he can possibly do to cooperate with the court orders and he's looking forward to that fair trial that he did not have in the first place," Schulman said.

Ballinger's attorney also said his client is not a flight risk. Schulman said Ballinger doesn't have a passport or a driver's license. He said the convict has been visiting with family he has shown up to court every time he has been ordered to appear.

More: Local 4 Defenders

AG appeals judge's decision to free Ballinger

Schuette appealed the judge's decision to free Ballinger on Friday, citing reports of threatening behavior against victims' families and witnesses.

"Releasing a convicted killer back on the streets of Detroit after he has served only six years of a life sentence is a tragic mistake," said Schuette. "We are filing an emergency appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court. In the meantime, we will be working with local law enforcement to monitor Ballinger's conduct. He is expected to comply with all the restrictions of his bond, which includes no contact with victims' families or witnesses. If we find any evidence that he has violated those restrictions, we will not hesitate to file a new motion to revoke bond and return him to prison."

Read: Michigan AG's appeal

-- Dwayne Ballinger is convicted of two 2006 murders in Detroit. He has been granted a second trial.

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