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Elizabethtown shooting victim originally from Bardstown

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Toni Ballard killed in her home


KELLY CANTRALL

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LANDMARK NEWS SERVICE

 

ELIZABETHTOWN — She was a woman who loved her family, loved her friends and loved her dog.

Toni Michelle Ballard, the victim of a Thursday shooting on Bardstown Road, is remembered by friends as someone with an upbeat attitude, even when circumstances weren’t positive.

Originally from Bardstown, she lived in Elizabethtown for several years and since July had been working in the environmental services department at Hardin Memorial Hospital. A few months ago, she moved to a duplex at 6932 Bardstown Road where police say she died after being shot multiple times by a neighbor.

Kathy Schaffrick of Elizabethtown met Ballard about six years ago and they just “clicked,” she said. Schaffrick said Ballard was someone with a “big spirit” who would do anything for people.

Ballard recently had been through some difficult situations. She lost her job with a roofing company in Louisville because of the recession and then another job fell through quickly after she started, Schaffrick said. But the last few months had turned around for her after she started working at the hospital, Schaffrick said.

Ballard would do “anything to make it through,” Schaffrick said, and Ballard always had a smile on her face.

Her smile was remembered at a prayer service at the hospital Friday, said Michelle Murphy, public relations director for HMH.

“The staff of Hardin Memorial Hospital are deeply saddened by the news of Toni’s death,” Murphy said in a statement. “We extend our condolences and continue to keep her family in our prayers as they deal with their loss.”

Regina Kortz worked with Ballard at the hospital and they had become good friends, she said.

“She was always so energetic and so full of life,” Kortz said.

Elaina Janes met Ballard through mutual friends at a cookout about 10 years ago. Janes remembers her as a wonderful person with a “sweet soul.”

“She was a true friend and a steady friend,” said Janes, who recalls her surprise 21st birthday party arranged by Ballard.

Janes said the news of Ballard’s death has been difficult to comprehend.

“I just still cannot wrap my head around this,” she said.

Ballard’s funeral begins at 11 a.m. Monday at Kappel Funeral Home in Boston.

•••••••••••

Police say after shooting neighbor, accused dialed 911

A police citation says the suspect in Thursday afternoon's fatal shooting called 911 to notify police.

A 36-year-old woman was shot and killed in her home on Bardstown Road at approximately 4:45 p.m. Thursday. Kentucky State Police arrested her next-door neighbor, 24-year-old Joshua Norman Hines, and lodged him in the Hardin County Detention Center.

The state police citation filed at the jail says Hines "called 911 and advised dispatch that he had shot his neighbor and believed she was dead."

Toni Ballard of 6932 Bardstown Road, Elizabethtown, suffered multiple gunshot wounds, said Trooper Bruce Reeves, spokesman for Kentucky State Police Post 4. KSP recovered a handgun from the accused, he said.

The citation says Hines admits using a .357 revolver to shoot Ballard at her home, which is part of a brick duplex four miles east on Interstate 65 on Bardstown Road. Hines lived next door to the duplex in a frame house that tax records show is owned by his father.

Hines was arraigned Friday morning on a murder charge over a video conference link between the jail and Hardin District Court.

Because of the severity of the charge, Judge John Simcoe said he was setting a cash bond of $500,000. Hines, who is unemployed, simply shook his head when asked by Simcoe if he would be able to post bond.

The judge set a pretrial conference for 9 a.m. April 20 and referred Hines' case to the public defender's office.

Deputy Coroner John Clemons said the body was taken to the state medical examiner's office in Louisville for an autopsy.