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Angela Ball gets 15 years for killing Ward Wilbur

February 9, 2018
By GLYNIS HART - For the News ( , Lake Placid News

MALONE - Her murder conviction overturned in state Supreme Court, Angela Ball of Saranac Lake received a new sentence Friday, Feb. 2 in Franklin County Court for manslaughter: 15 years, with five years of post-release supervision.

The family of victim Ward Wilbur, a Lake Placid native, submitted a statement to the court, which read in part, "She's a horrible person, and she deserves a much longer sentence than she is getting. To protect his memory we agreed to this deal."

Wilbur's family vowed to protest Ball's release when she becomes eligible for parole 10 years from now. "One word comes to mind to describe her: evil. She'll still be a relatively young woman. ... She'll have plenty of time to even kill another person." Ball is 33 years old.

They described the relationship between Ball and Wilbur, who was 65 at the time of his death, as being "over" when he came to her Saranac Lake apartment the night of the killing.

"He thought he could help her; he thought he could help her stay on her medications," they said.

Ball was convicted in 2015 of the murder of Wilbur, who died on Nov. 25, 2013, after Ball beat and stabbed him. Ball never denied killing him but claimed she had acted in self-defense.

Reading from a prepared statement, Ball said, "I cannot apologize enough to the family and friends of Ward Wilbur. Ward was the love of my life and my best friend, but anyone who is close to him knows what a double-edged sword that is."

Ball described their relationship as veering between violent arguments and "moonbeams and fireflies" and said, "I never should have allowed it to get that far."

Wilbur's sister, Carol Hoffman of Lake Placid, who was present at the sentencing, said, "She expressed no remorse."

On Oct. 19, 2017, the state Supreme Court overturned the conclusion of the first trial. In vacating Judge Robert Main Jr.'s sentence, the court wrote that witnesses and evidence to support the self-defense justification were not presented. Two sentences, of 20 years to life for second-degree murder and 20 years to life for first-degree assault, were overturned.

On Feb. 2, Judge Main said, "If the first judgement has not been vacated, I direct that it be vacated."

In addition to the 15-year sentence, plus five years' probation, Main imposed restitution of $6,333.23 and the obligation to provide a sample of genetic material to be kept by the state.



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