Instead of possibly going to prison for up to twenty years for filing false tax returns, Phillip Ballard now faces a certain twenty years in federal prison for attempting to hire a contract killer to target the judge hearing his case. Ballard was sentenced this week according to records obtained by Breitbart Texas for his role in trying to hire a man to kill Federal Judge John McBryde, a U.S. District Court Judge from the Northern District of Texas.
What Ballard did not realize, according to an FBI criminal complaint obtained by Breitbart Texas, that instead of hiring a contract killer, he engaged an undercover FBI agent. Ballard told another inmate about his desire to have Judge McBryde killed in order to have his trial moved to a different court. Ballard was being tried for filing false tax returns and interfering with the IRS. Ballard told the other inmate that as a sovereign citizen he was immune from all the laws of the United States.
Ballard got his wish of a trial in a new court, but this time it was on a new charge as well. The claim of sovereign immunity did not sit well with the new judge, Donald Walter from the Western District of Louisiana, who presided over the contract for hire attempted murder case, according to a report in the Dallas Morning News Monday.
The criminal complaint alleged that Ballard discussed the details of how he wanted the murder carried out. Ballard instructed the “killer” to position himself within the Burnett Plaza Building located across the street from the Fort Worth Federal Courthouse. He said the killer could then shoot the judge with a high-power rifle with a telescopic sight. He agreed to pay the killer $100,000 in cash upon completion of the contract.
According to court documents, Ballard made arrangements to have a down payment of $5,000 sent to the killer by his sister. He sent the instructions for the payment to his sister from an email system inside the jail. Once that took place, the FBI moved forward in seeking the indictment below and making the arrest.
The Dallas News stated Ballard’s defense was he never had any intention of going through with the plot to kill the judge. The jury found Ballard guilty and Judge Walter sentenced Ballard to twenty years in prison. Ballard, now 72, will likely spend the rest of his life in prison, but will never have to worry about filing a federal tax return again.
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