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Former Ohio doctor guilty in expectant mom's death

COLUMBUS, Ohio — A former Ohio doctor accused of killing a pregnant woman last year by injecting her with heroin after she answered a Craigslist ad pleaded guilty Thursday in her death and that of her nearly full-term unborn child.

Ali Salim entered the pleas in Delaware County Court north of Columbus ahead of his trial scheduled for next week. He is to be sentenced in December and faces 37 years in prison.

Salim, 44, pleaded guilty to two counts of involuntary manslaughter in the deaths of Deanna Ballman and her unborn daughter, who was to be named Mabel Lilly. Ballman, 23, was nine months pregnant.

Salim also pleaded guilty to tampering with evidence and abuse of a corpse. He also entered a type of guilty plea to a charge of rape under which he maintains his innocence but acknowledges prosecutors had enough evidence to convict him.

Salim remains free on house arrest on $1 million bond.

Ballman was last seen alive July 31, 2012, when she left her home in suburban Columbus, telling her family she was answering a Craigslist ad for a housecleaner. She called her mother a few hours later saying she was feeling dizzy. The call was then lost and her family couldn't reach her again.

Ballman's body was found in the back of her car the next day on a rural road a few miles from Salim's house.

Salim's attorney, Sam Shamansky, has said Ballman was prostituting herself to feed a drug habit.

Authorities say there's no evidence Ballman was a drug user, but they have said she was responding to a personal ad, not a job ad.

Women who previously answered ads placed by Salim reported being accosted, sexually assaulted or asked to be alone in the house while he painted the human digestive system on their abdomens, according to police records.

Former Ohio doctor guilty in expectant mom's death 10/24/13 [Last modified: Thursday, October 24, 2013 9:12pm]
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