FLINT (WJRT) (4/8/2019) - A Genesee County jury convicted one of four men accused of murdering a 63-year-old man and assaulting his wife during a 2017 home invasion in Flint.
Jordan Alexander, 20, was convicted of shooting and killing Albert Ballard during a robbery attempt around 5 a.m. on July 11, 2017, at Ballard's house on Cumberland Avenue near Dort Highway on Flint's east side.
Three other defendants were convicted of lesser crimes and a fourth co-conspirator pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the case.
Ballard was asleep on a couch on the first floor of his home that morning when the five men got inside through an unlocked door. Zicary Carpenter, 22, held Ballard at gunpoint and ordered him to turn over all his money.
Tyler Pagel, 19, grabbed Ballard's television set while Alexander, 22-year-old Alexander Eubanks and 20-year-old Dre Jones went upstairs to confront Ballard's wife. She got hit in the face and was told to hand over her money.
During that time, Ballard got free and went into the kitchen, where he retrieved a handgun hidden in a cupboard. He shot Carpenter in the chest and ran upstairs to protect his wife.
A struggle ensued between Ballard and Alexander, which included an exchange of gunfire. Ballard was hit by one round in the chest and died soon after.
Pagel and Carpenter fled the scene in a vehicle after the first confrontation downstairs. They crashed less than a mile away at the intersection of Court and Vernon streets, where police arrested them.
Eubanks and Alexander were arrested later that morning while Jones was arrested about a week later.
“Justice has been served in a court of law and these defendants will be sentenced to prison for their acts,” said Prosecutor David Leyton after the verdict was read Monday.
The four co-defendants were found guilty of the following crimes:
-- Alexander - felony murder, first-degree home invasion, conspiracy to commit first-degree home invasion, assault with intent to rob while armed, armed robbery and five counts of felony firearms.
-- Carpenter - armed robbery, home invasion first-degree, conspiracy to commit home invasion and three counts of felony firearms.
-- Pagel - armed robbery, home invasion first-degree and conspiracy to commit home invasion.
-- Eubanks - home invasion first-degree and conspiracy to commit home invasion.
Jones pleaded guilty in August to second-degree murder, three counts of felony firearm, two counts of first-degree home invasion, armed robbery and assault with intent to rob while armed.
As part of his plea agreement, Jones agreed to testify against the other four suspects. He will be sentenced to a minimum term of 27 years in prison.
“We felt all five of the defendants in this case were guilty of murder and we did our best to present that to the jury,” Leyton said. “Unfortunately, the jury did not see it that way and we must respect their verdict."
He said the crime violated a basic value of living in a civilized society.
“The tragedy suffered by Mr. and Mrs. Ballard is everyone’s worst nightmare,” Leyton said. “As I stated at the outset of this case, all of us should be able to feel safe and secure in our own homes without fear of having to confront thugs breaking in to rob us and do us harm.”