Suspected child molester murdered - - Columbia, South Carolina

Suspected child molester murdered

CABARRUS COUNTY, NC (WBTV) - In North Carolina, a man charged with murdering a suspected child molester this weekend was scheduled to appear in Cabarrus County court Monday morning.

Cabarrus County officials say Chris Hartsell, 32, shot and killed William Ballance, 47.

The shooting happened on Friday inside Ballance's home inside the Oakland Glen Mobile Home Park.

According to arrest records, Ballance was a registered sex offender. He was convicted in 1998 of taking indecent liberties with a child and served five years probation. Most of his neighbors were aware of the prior conviction.

"Everybody pretty much kept an eye on the kids around here," said neighbor Robert Holmes.

Neighbors say Hartsell moved out of Ballance's house about a week ago. Around that time, allegations surfaced of Ballance allegedly molesting Hartsell's young relative.

"He seemed like a pretty nice guy, the sex offender thing just don't fit," said neighbor Clarence Williams.

Sheriff's deputies issued warrants for Ballance Thursday for sex-related charges, including first degree rape of a child. But before they could arrest him, they say Hartsell got his revenge.

"I guess you can only take so much and then you react," said Holmes.

Neighbor Clarence Williams says he never felt threatened by Ballance and even let his grandchildren visit.

He was shocked to hear about the shooting.

"I really don't know what to think at this point, it just don't fit what I knew of him," said Williams.

The Cabarrus County Sheriff's office verified Ballance's address in October.

According to the law, sex offenders can be around children, just not by themselves.

Certain details of this story have not been released, as it is policy not to identify sexual assault victims.

Hartsell was being held without bond in the Cabarrus County Jail and is charged with murder.

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