The Free Press, Mankato, MN

State, national news

October 7, 2013

Sentencing in motel standoff Monday

Man accused of holding 11 people hostage

STILLWATER (AP) — A man accused of holding 11 people hostage and sexually assaulting four teenage girls at gunpoint in a Washington County motel room is facing sentencing.

Demetrius Ballinger could be sentenced to about 36 years in prison Monday. He was initially charged with 27 felonies, but earlier pleaded guilty to four felonies.

According to the complaint, Ballinger, five other adults and six juveniles were in a room at the Red Roof Inn in Woodbury in August 2012 when Ballinger pulled out a gun, threatening to shoot everyone and ordering them to hand over their money and cellphones.

After police arrived, a 19-year-old hostage, Mark Henderson, tried to escape. Ballinger shot at him. Officers heard that gunshot as the door opened and fired, believing Henderson was armed. He was not, and died at a local hospital.

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