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After A Six Week Trial The Jury Took Just Hours To Convict Ross Dion Of First Degree Murder

KAWARTHA LAKES-After sitting in the juror’s box for 6 weeks it took only about 6 hours for the jury to convict Ross Dion of first-degree murder and arson-disregard for human life in the death of Heeley Rae Balanga.

47-year-old Dion was charged on June 2, 2018.

Crown Attorney David Boulet alleged that at the time of the murder Balanga was seriously questioning her relationship with Dion and the evidence suggests there was tension between them. According to Boulet, Balanga had been in a plane crash when she was young and had been prescribed painkillers. Over time she became addicted and would get opioids off the street to relieve her pain according to the Crown. He said Dion and Balanga would do drugs together. Boulet said Balanga wanted children and decided to go to rehab before becoming pregnant. She had been accepted into a program. It became evident at this point that their lives were headed in different directions, Boulet alleged.

The jury agreed with Boulet and found Dion guilty. The verdict was handed down on Wednesday night at around 7:30 pm.

Balanga’s body was found after the fire department was called to the home on Aino Beach Road in Little Britain. Boulet said the fire was deliberately set and the autopsy would show that Balanga did not die in the fire, she died of blunt force trauma. A baseball bat was found at the scene along with a bloody t-shirt and jeans belonging to Balanga which had Dions DNA on them according to boulet.

“Heeley did not survive this relationship,” Boulet said as he ended his closing statement.

Dion had pleaded not guilty.

Boulet praised the jury for its diligence.

It was a lot of hard work on the part of the jury, it went into 6 weeks which is a big impact on people’s lives in the middle of summer.” Boulet told Kawartha 411 News.  “They were very attentive and listened carefully and did a great job! I have nothing but praise for their attention and commitment. It’s a testament to the community. I am very impressed and honoured to be in front of a jury like that.”

Boulet said Heely’s mother was relieved by the verdict.

“She is satisfied, it’s the verdict she’s been waiting for for a long time, but her daughter is still gone. It doesn’t fix that but still provides some comfort.”

Dion will be formally sentenced on Monday. He will automatically receive life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years. The sentencing will allow Heeley’s family and loved ones to provide victim impact statements.

 

 

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Pamela Vanmeer
Pamela Vanmeerhttps://www.kawartha411.ca/
Pamela VanMeer is a two time winner of the prestigious Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) Award. Her investigative reports on abuse in Long Term Care Homes garnered international attention for the issue and won the Ron Laidlaw Award. She is a former reporter and anchor at CHEX News, now Global Peterborough and helped launch the New CHEX Daily, a daily half hour talk show. While at CHCH News in Hamilton she covered some of the biggest news stories of the day.

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