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Inmate Guilty Of Trying To Have North Texas Judge Killed

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FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — A federal inmate has been found guilty of trying to hire someone to kill a North Texas federal judge.

Prosecutors say Phillip Monroe Ballard was convicted Wednesday of attempted murder for hire of a a U.S. District Judge in the Northern District of Texas. The verdict was returned after just two days of trial and less than an hour of deliberation.

The 72-year-old Ballard was accused of telling another inmate that he wanted a judge presiding over his tax case gunned down. The two would agree to a price of $100,000. That inmate testified at Ballard’s trial.

Defense attorneys for Ballard said their client never actually intended to kill the judge.

The judge was not harmed.

Ballard faces up to 20 years in prison. Sentencing is scheduled for March.

(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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