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Hurst teen sentenced for role in fatal shooting

FORT WORTH — A Hurst teen accused in the killing of a young man Feb. 15 near Hurst Junior High was sentenced to 15 months of probation Wednesday by a judge after pleading guilty to a charge of delinquent conduct/aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

State District Judge Jean Boyd sentenced the 16-year-old in a Fort Worth juvenile courtroom.

The 16-year-old is one of seven young men accused of fatally shooting 20-year-old Reed Ballard.

The teen entered his plea as part of a plea agreement with the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office just before the start of his adult certification hearing. That hearing was dismissed.

As part of the agreement, the Hurst teen will testify in hearings involving the other six young men accused in the slaying.

“I hate that I was there,” the 16-year-old testified Wednesday morning. “I regret it.”

Susan Ballard of Hurst, Ballard’s mother, said Wednesday morning that the teen had been given a second chance. She spoke during the victim’s statement phase of the hearing.

“I really hope that you take advantage of this,” Susan Ballard said. “He (Reed Ballard) wasn’t suppose to be there. You now live for him.”

The 16-year-old was expected to be released from juvenile custody on Wednesday. He is not being identified because he is a juvenile.

Prosecutors are seeking to have a 15-year-old, who is accused of being the shooter, and another 16-year-old tried as adults in the case.

The two remained Wednesday at the Lynn W. Ross Juvenile Detention Center in Fort Worth. Their adult certification hearings are scheduled for April 24 in Fort Worth.

The two teens are not being identified because they are juveniles. The other four young men are 17-years-old and are considered adults under Texas state law.

The six are accused of capital murder.

The four 17-year-olds -- Miguel Alcorta, James Dallas Hudgins, Cary John Adair and Scott Thomas Defee, all of Hurst -- arrested in the case were in the Tarrant County Jail Wednesday in lieu of $500,000 bail each.

On Feb. 15, police say, Ballard rode with an 18-year-old friend to sell marijuana to Hudgins at the junior high.

But the drug sale was a ruse to allow the teens to assault the 18-year-old in retaliation for an alleged burglary at Alcorta’s apartment and the theft of drugs and other belongings, according to an arrest warrant affidavit.

The 15-year-old fired into the car, striking Ballard, who died minutes later in a pharmacy parking lot about a mile away as his companions waited for emergency responders, police said.