A Michigan father has been convicted of murdering his wife last year with a hammer by delivering 14 fatal blows to the woman’s head, PEOPLE confirms.
A jury on Tuesday found 39-year-old Douglas Ball Jr. guilty of first-degree murder and torture charges in the death of his 30-year-old wife, Lydia Ball, Ball’s attorney, Edward Marshall, confirms to PEOPLE.
Lydia’s body was found in the basement of their home in Port Huron, Michigan, on Aug. 20.
Authorities reportedly believe Douglas used an 8-lb. hammer, and it’s unclear how long Lydia was dead before her body was found. She was last seen alive on Aug. 18.
“I ask you to think about how much time and effort it would take, how much time and effort it took to kill Lydia Ball,” prosecutor Jennifer Deegan said during her closing argument.
“Fourteen blows, 14 times all over her head.”
Douglas fled the home after the slaying with his and Lydia’s then-5-year-old son, the Port Huron Times Herald reports. He was arrested the next day in Orion Township, Michigan.
“It’s nice that Lydia Ball has some justice,” Deegan said following the verdict, according to the Herald.
Lydia’s stepdaughter Kaitlyn Hendrickson remembered her in a Facebook post in the days after she was found dead.
“Today really broke my heart. i keep waiting for my stepmom to text me and ask me how i am. or to walk up and say lets go children,” Hendrickson wrote. “Then I remember. she’s not here and she isn’t coming back.”
“At her funeral today my brother turned to me and told me he doesnt like seeing mommy’s coffin,” she continued. “it makes him sad. And he doesn’t like her being dead. he asked why she is gone. and i ask myself that every day.
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“I wonder how can my dad, as the man i knew, kill her,” Hendrickson wrote. “i wonder why she is gone and why he did it.”
On March 30, she wished her stepmom a happy birthday, writing on Facebook, “I miss you so much. I think about you everyday. I wish you were here with us.”
Marshall tells PEOPLE his client had no history of domestic violence during his years-long marriage to Lydia and that their was no indication that the couple argued around the time she was killed.
He says he believes Douglas got a “fair trial,” but the jury had already “made up their minds” about his guilt.
Douglas faces life in prison and is expected to be sentenced on June 1, according to the Herald.
from PEOPLE.com http://people.com/crime/michigan-man-murdered-wife-hammer/