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Published: Wednesday, 6/8/2005

Officer commits suicide before court sentencing

HILLSDALE A state corrections officer who was to be sentenced Monday in a sexual misconduct case killed himself in a burning home earlier that day, authorities said.

Michigan State Police tentatively identified the body found in the home at 3875 East Mosherville Rd., Moscow Township, as Terrence Ballard, 43.

Ballard was to be sentenced by Hillsdale County Circuit Court Judge Michael R. Smith on two counts of criminal sexual conduct.

Firefighters were dispatched to the home at 11:44 a.m. on a report of a fire there and found the man s body and a suicide note.

They believe Ballard set the fire on the main floor, then went to the basement and killed himself. The cause of Ballard s death was unavailable yesterday.

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