Milam County jury acquits man on murder charge in deadly shooting, finds him guilty on lesser charge

Israel Ballester II
Israel Ballester II(Milam County Sheriff's Office)
Published: Apr. 25, 2023 at 1:26 PM CDT
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MILAM COUNTY, Texas (KWTX) - A Milam County jury returned guilty verdicts against Israel Ballester II, 41, of Pflugerville, but acquitted him of a felony 1st-degree murder.

The jury decided to convict Ballester on two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in connection with the shooting of three men that left one man dead.

It happened during a disturbance in Milam County on May 8, 2021. Evidence presented during the trial indicated the victims had disputes Ballester.

Milam County District Attorney Bill Torey noted the case was difficult to prosecute because investigators recovered a second firearm from the scene belonging to one of the victims.

Torey did not believe that the victim drew his weapon, as evidence showed, but the jury still had doubts that there was a possibility, the prosecutor wrote in a news release.

Torey said he respected the jury’s hard decision in a tough case.

“While this verdict is not what we had hoped for, it underscores the importance of our work in prosecuting cases to the fullest extent of the law,” Torey wrote, “We remain committed to holding those who commit violent crimes accountable for their actions and protecting our community from harm.”

Ballester was taken into custody after the verdict and is awaiting a sentencing hearing in May. He is being held at the Milam County Jail.