- Associated Press - Monday, October 24, 2016

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) - A Summerville drug dealer has been given a life sentence for ordering the shooting of a federal witness who was set to testify against him.

The Post and Courier (https://bit.ly/2dBqho0 ) reports that Ivory Brothers survived being shot between seven and 11 times in 2014 prior to testifying against 34-year-old Martin Ballard. Brothers followed through with his testimony and Ballard was convicted last year of nine charges, including drug violations and murder for hire.

On Thursday, Ballard was given a life sentence in a Charleston courtroom for ordering the hit. Because there is no parole in the federal system, Ballard will be imprisoned until his death.

Acting U.S. Attorney Beth Drake said the penalty delivers a “strong message” that people who harm witnesses will not receive any leniency.

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Information from: The Post and Courier, https://www.postandcourier.com

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