'Information person' in Domino's robbery gets prison
Ballenger, 26, of Twin Lakes, also must serve six years of extended probation through his sentence handed down Wednesday by Walworth County Judge John Race. Ballenger was found guilty of armed robbery as a party to a crime during a jury trial in August.
Two other men face charges in the robberies, but Assistant District Attorney Zeke Wiedenfeld said Ballenger served as the "information person" in the crimes, teaching the others to hold a gun and pull off the robberies. Wiedenfeld said Ballenger had a role in several robberies over a one-month period.
Ballenger's co-defendants, Terrance C. Walker Jr. of Elgin, Ill., and Michael R. Boyle of Twin Lakes, each face five counts of armed robbery. Their cases have not yet been heard.
The Domino's Pizza in Delavan was robbed June 12 by an armed man, according to court records. Two weeks later, Walker admitted to the crime, saying he used a pellet gun to threaten the employees before leaving and hiding the money in some nearby bushes.
All three men returned later to retrieve the money, Walker told police.
Wiedenfeld said the men split the cash between them, but there was no indication of how much they're accused of taking from the store. As part of Ballenger's sentence, he was ordered to pay $217 in restitution to Domino's.
Race read off Ballenger's lengthy criminal record, which includes armed robbery in Kenosha County and credit card fraud. He was scheduled for release from prison in 2014 before Wednesday's sentence, his attorney Peter Wilson said.
Ballenger admitted his past mistakes during a brief statement to Race. He said he's already making progress toward turning his life around while in prison.
"I'm tired of being a kid," he said. "It's time to be a man and be the person I'm supposed to be. The only way for me to do that is to change what I once was into what I want to be."
Wilson asked Race to make Ballenger's sentence concurrent with the prison term he's now serving, but Race ordered him to consecutive sentences.