It's been more than a year since a Rockford man was stabbed to death. One of his two killers is already serving time, and the other gave her plea Monday morning.
Tina Balas's tears and remorse could not rectify her involvement in Todd Kegel's death back in May 2011. She's pleaded guilty to second degree murder, same as her accomplice, Von Edrick Johnson. Todd's father was in the courtroom and says he forgives Tina for her crime.
"I don't think Tina ever intentionally wanted Todd to be murdered." -says Todd Kegel's father Paul Kegel.
Kegel thinks Tina Balas planned to rob Todd over a broken promise. He believes Tina and Von Johnson called his son that night, wanting to buy drugs, and the deal went bad.
"Todd had bond money coming back and he was going to promise her a good time, and it didn't work out right, he didn't get the bond money, so she was upset, and I think she wanted to teach him a lesson, but when you're starting to deal around with knives and guns, people are going to get hurt." -says Kegel.
Kegel isn't sure if Todd knew his killer, Von Johnson, but Tina and Todd had a history, and each had spent time in jail. Hearing about Tina's involvement in his son's murder didn't surprise Kegel, because they were both caught up in drugs.
"This crack-cocaine addiction is just a horrible thing. Todd was killed over a $20 bag. This isn't like a big robbery, or something like that, it's just emotions more than anything."
Kegel somewhat blames the jail system for Tina's actions and Todd's addiction. He says there aren't enough opportunities for criminal rehabilitation behind bars, or programs to help felons work their way back into society once their prison time is up.
"Why do we send people to jail, and then they're caged up like animals, and then they're going to come back out worse than when they came in?" -adds Kegel.
Tina Balas has been sentenced to 10 years in prison.
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