UPDATE: Murder In Madison; Guilty Plea In Fatal Landlord Dispute

UPDATED Friday, December 7, 2012--4:10p.m.
MADISON--Edgar Salinas-Leal is the man guilty of killing Darrell Ballweg--and his sentencing spawned an emotional day in court.

It all started back in February. At the time, Salinas-Leal, his wife and their infant daughter lived with Darrell and Deborah Ballweg.
One night an argument about sharing food escalated into a fight. Salinas-Leal shot and killed Darrell Ballweg, before fleeing with his wife and infant child.

That sparked a several day manhunt around the area as authorities first found his wife and daughter.
He was taken into custody after a SWAT team captured him hiding out in a vacant Madison apartment.

Salinas-Leal plead guilty to the killing -- today he was sentenced to 20 years in prison, with another 15 years of extended supervision.
He says he'd take back his actions if he could: "I wish I had the power to heal you, to heal Darrel's family," said Salinas-Leal. "I wish I had the power to bring him back. I wish I could go back in time, I would trade spots with Darrell anytime."

In an emotional twist--Ballweg's widow, who is deaf--spoke to her husband's killer, with help from an interpreter. "I want you to know that I do not hate you," she said. "I am speaking from my heart. I love you and I forgive you. Take care of yourself."

UPDATED Tuesday, September 25, 2012 ---- 6:15 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A man charged with killing his landlord after an argument over food has pleaded guilty to charges in an agreement with Dane County prosecutors.

Twenty-five-year-old Edgar Salinas-Leal has pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of second-degree intentional homicide, among other charges, in the Feb. 3 death of Darrell Ballweg.

The victim's wife, Deborah, witnessed the shooting and was in court for the plea Monday. A criminal complaint says the Ballwegs were eating in the townhouse they shared with the defendant and his family. After Salinas-Leal's wife asked the Ballwegs to share their food, they refused and Salinas-Leal and Darrell Ballweg began to fight.

Authorities say Salinas-Leal left, returned with a gun and shot Darrell Ballweg in the chest.

The State Journal (http://tinyurl.com/963y9x9 ) says a sentencing date has not been set.

Copyright 2012. The Associated Press.


UPDATED Monday February 13, 2012--6:40p.m.

MADISON--Edgar Salinas-Leal is charged with first degree intentional homicide--as well as five other counts--following the death of Darrell Ballweg.

He died on Friday, February third.

Now, the wife of Salinas-Leal says he acted out because their infant daughter was in danger.

As we've reported: Salinas-Leal, his wife and their child were roommates with Ballweg and his wife.

The criminal complaint says Salinas-Leal shot Ballweg during a dispute about sharing food.

Salinas-Leal then disappeared, resulting in a four-day manhunt across the area before a SWAT team brought him in on February eighth.

His wife was present at his court appearance today and spoke with us.

She says it was all just a big accident--and that Salinas-Leal acted to protect their daughter.

In court today, the attorney for Salinas-Leal says that her understanding is that the victim initially armed himself with a knife and then came after Salinas-Leal.

Bail for Salinas-Leal was set at a million dollars and he's not allowed to have contact with either the victim's wife or his own.


UPDATED Monday, February 13, 2012--3:40p.m.

MADISON--Edgar Salinas-Leal appeared in court today. He is charged with first degree intentional homicide in the death of Darrell Ballweg, his roommate. He faces five additional counts as well.
Bail was set at a million dollars.


UPDATED Thursday, February 9, 2012 --- 6:25 a.m.

A memorial service will be held today for Darrell Ballweg. It will take place at 1:00 p.m. at Calvary Gospel Church, 5301 Commercial Ave., Madison. A visitation will be held at the church from 12:00 noon until time of service. In lieu of flowers, memorial can be made to the family.

His obituary:

Darrell D. Ballweg, age 38, passed away unexpectedly at his home on February 3, 2012. He was born January 19, 1974 in Madison, the youngest child of Andrew and Lois (Kelter) Ballweg. He was united in marriage to Deborah "Debbie" Hughes on June 21, 2005 in Madison. He attended Madison Lafollette High School. He was employed at Web-crafters, Inc. in Madison for the last twelve years. Darrell will be remembered fondly for being an avid collector of Tasmanian Devil, Packers fan, and he also enjoyed fishing, travelling with his wife and recycling metal. Darrell and his wife enjoyed attending Bible study at Our Savior Deaf Lutheran Church every Tuesday night. They also attended Calvary Gospel Church every Sunday.

Darrell is survived by his wife Deborah Ballweg, of Madison; his mother, Lois Ballweg of Mazomanie; six brothers, Gary (Sara) Ballweg of Gladstone, MI; Wayne Ballweg, of DodgevilleI; Kevin (Sue) Ballweg, of Mazomanie; Jeff Ballweg of Martinsville; Brian (Louise) Ballweg,of Prairie Du Sac; and Tim (Michelle) Ballweg, of Mazomanie; a sister, Jennifer (John) Frame of Blue Mounds; father-in-law, Dennis (Kathleen) Hughes, of Oshkosh; a brother-in-law, Timothy (Cory) Hughes, of Oshkosh; three sisters-in-law, Christine (Steven) Dadas, of Oshkosh; Lucy (Steve) Hartl, of Live Oak, FL; and Cheryl Hughes, of Tuscon, AZ; one god-daughter Araceli Salinas; and many cousins, nieces, nephews and other friends in the deaf community.

He was preceded in death by his father Andrew in 2009; a sister-in-law, Barbara Ballweg, in 2010; maternal grandparents, Hubert and Norma Kelter; paternal grandparents, Florian and Emma Ballweg.


UPDATED: Wednesday, February 8, 2012 --- 2:45 p.m.
REPORTER: Chris Woodard

An accused murderer is in custody tonight, putting an end to a four day manhunt across the Madison area.

But police say more charges may still be coming.

Tonight Edgar Ivan Salinas-Leal is in custody. When police raided a vacant unit in an apartment building this morning to capture him, it made for some frightening moments for others who live there.

Anthony Kellogg lives across the hall. He says the apartment Salinas-Leal was found in has been empty for months and says the door was always locked.

He doesn't know how Salinas-Leal could have gotten in.

He and his wife, along with their two kids, were escorted out of the building by armed SWAT members sometime before 4 a.m. this morning.

He says, "I don't understand. I don't know if he climbed up the balcony or was watching to see when we came in or what was going on, but it seems sketchy to me. I don't know if it was an inside job but we're very concerned."

Early this morning police SWAT raided the apartment on the 5800 block of Raymond Road.

They say the 24-year-old Salinas-Leal was captured inside the vacant unit.

The capture puts an end to four days of around the clock searching, involving just about every single unit in the Madison Police Department.

Police say they may not be done yet

Police spokesman Joel DeSpain says, "The possibility exists we may see another arrest or arrests if we find people who were aiding and abetting the suspect when he was on the run."

Police had been looking for Salinas-Leal since Friday when they say he shot his roommate after the two had an argument over sharing food.

Friends of the victim, 38-year-old Darrell Ballweg, say they are relieved Salinas-Leal is off the streets. They say there will be a funeral and visitation for Ballweg Thursday.


UPDATED Wednesday, February 8, 2012 --- 4:10 a.m.

From the Madison Police Department:

Edgar Ivan Salinas-Leal was taken into custody through an excellent coordinated effort by patrol, detectives, CPT, CPGU and SWAT members.

Subject was located at a vacant apartment in 5800 block Raymond Road early this morning.

Further details to be released at later time.

Stay with NBC15 and NBC15.com for continuing coverage.


UPDATED Tuesday, February 7, 2012 --- 6:10 a.m.

New developments this morning in the Madison murder investigation.

According to Madison police, the Chevy Uplander that murder suspect Edgar Ivan Salinas-Leal was driving has been recovered. Police will only say they discovered it in Madison sometime after midnight.

Salinas-Leal remains at large this morning.

His wife and child have been found. According to the Madison police website, Salinas-Leal was last seen in the area of Lake Point Dr. and Hoboken Rd.

Stay with NBC15 and NBC15.com for continuing coverage.


UPDATED Tuesday, February 7, 2012 --- 4:45 a.m.

From the Madison Police Department:

On February 6, 2012, MPD investigators, with the assistance of MPD SWAT made follow up contacts at addresses in the 4700 block of Dutch Mill Rd., in search of the missing homicide suspect, Edgar Ivan salinas-Leal.

As a result of information received during the investigation, these personnel also conducted a search of a residence in the 5800 block of Hoboken Rd.

As a result of the day's investigative efforts, the suspect was not located. However, police were able to locate and assure the safety of Jessica Salinas and her 7 month old daughter.

Edgar Salinas-Leal is still at large and last reported being seen in the area of Lake Point Dr. and Hoboken Rd.

Anyone with information is urged to call Crime Stoppers at 266-6014. Callers may remain anonymous, and may be eligible for a reward.


UPDATED Monday, February 6, 2012 --- 4:10 p.m.

To read the criminal complaint filed in this case, click on the above link marked "Criminal Complaint Murder Investigation."


UPDATED Monday, February 6, 2012 --- 1:40 p.m.

From the Madison Police Department:

The MPD is receiving information to suggest the suspect is still in the Madison area, or in a nearby county.

He likely remains with his wife and child.

Anyone with information on the family’s whereabouts should call 911 immediately.

It is not known if they are still in the victim’s vehicle. It has not been found.

This morning, the Dane County Medical Examiner identified the victim as Darrell D. Ballweg, age 38, Madison. Results of an autopsy confirm that Mr. Ballweg’s death was the result of homicidal firearm violence, according to a release from the Dane County Medical Examiner’s office.

The suspect should continue to be considered armed and dangerous.


UPDATED Monday, February 6, 2012 --- 11:30 a.m.

38-year-old Darrell Ballweg was killed in Madison late Friday night. His friends remember him as a kind man.

To watch this report, click on the video link ABOVE marked "VIDEO: Community Mourns Murder Victim 10pm 2/5/12"


UPDATED Monday, February 6, 2012 --- 8:40 a.m.

From the Dane County Medical Examiner's Office:

The Dane County Medical Examiner’s Office is releasing the name of the homicide victim from the shooting which occurred in the City of Madison on White Aspen Road, Friday 02-03-12.

The decedent is identified as:

Darrell D. BALLWEG
Madison Wisconsin

A forensic autopsy was completed at the Dane County Medical Examiner’s Office on 02-04-12. Results of the autopsy confirm that Mr. Ballweg’s death was the result of homicidal firearm violence.
This case remains under investigation by the City of Madison Police and the Dane County Medical Examiner’s Office.


UPDATED: Sunday, February 5, 2012 --- 9:55 p.m.
REPORTER: Chris Woodard

While police have not released the name of this murder victim, tonight we're learning more about the man killed, 38-year-old Darrell Ballweg, from those who knew him.

Ballweg was deaf.

It's something that made him part of a very tight knit community in this area and one reason so many people are grieving tonight.

What happened at the home of Ballweg and his wife Friday night is too horrible to believe for some friends.

The 38-year-old Ballweg was murdered.

The man police say pulled the trigger is someone Ballweg was allowing to live with him, simply out of kindness according to friends.

Through an interpreter Michael Hulkoff said, "I'm shocked."

Hulkoff also lived with Ballweg and his wife for a while when he and his wife were down on their luck. He calls Ballweg a good friend.

Like Ballweg, he's deaf.

He said, "He's a hard working man. He always is tough and generous and helping."

Hulkoff was just helping Ballweg remodel his bathroom earlier this week and says he can't believe he's gone.

Today he left a flower on the doorstep to Ballweg's home.

He said, "My kids loved Darrell, always went to him as soon as we went to their place. Darrell would be watching football and the kids would come up and sit on his lap and want to watch SpongeBob and he would channel surf until they found it."

This death is hitting the deaf community hard.

Hulkoff said, "Deaf is a small world. We all know each other."

Today I spent time sending messages as a way to communicate with people who say Ballweg was a friend.

Some have known him since grade school and shared their pictures.

One friend called him a sweetheart and said he was always helping people. She said the entire deaf community is grieving.

Another friend called him friendly, funny and helpful, always a joy to be around.

One friend even sent us a picture of Ballweg with Ivan, the man police believe killed him, and Ivan's wife.

Others tell us they knew Ivan as well and always thought he was a good person.

Many in this tight knit community are now struggling to make sense of a crime that has them reeling.

Hulkoff said, "That day I was with Darrell and my gosh, I can't believe he's gone."

One question we're hearing a lot is from people wondering why the suspect was living with Ballweg and his wife.

I'm told Salinas Leal's family moved out of state and when he had nowhere to go the Ballwegs allowed him to move in because he was a friend.


UPDATED: Saturday, February 4, 2012 --- 4:45 p.m.

While Edgar Ivan Salinas-Leal is still at large, NBC 15 is learning more about the man police think he shot and killed Friday night.

The 38-year-old man's name is being withheld until family are notified, but neighbors say they are surprised anybody would want to harm him.

"He had a hearing impairment so he could read my lips but when I talked to him a lot of times he would have to write a note for me," said Jim Maier, who lives across the street. Maier says the two would occasionally collaborate on projects, and that the victim was always friendly.

"That whole family was deaf," said Neighbor Jim Robinson of the victim and his wife. "They would always give a friendly wave to us. It's a total shock that something happened like that over there."


UPDATED: Saturday, February 4, 2012 --- 11:05 a.m.

As investigators search for Edgar Ivan Salinas-Leal, the investigative team does not know if Jessica Salinas went voluntarily with him.

Detectives have concern about her safety, and for the welfare of the couple's baby (between 4 and 7 months old). Click on the PHOTOS tab for a picture of Jessica.

Police tell NBC15's Phil Levin that Salinas-Leal has connections to Texas; so he may have fled out of state.

As we've reported, a 38-year-old man was shot last night on Madison's north side. He was pronounced dead at the scene. The victim's wife, we are told, was a witness to this crime.

Again, anyone with information should call 911.


UPDATED Saturday, February 4, 2012 --- 8:20 a.m.

From the Madison Police Department:

The Madison Police Department is investigating the city’s first homicide of the year.

A 38-year-old man was shot and killed by a housemate following a dispute inside a home in the 4400 block of White Aspen Rd.

The victim’s family and the suspect’s family lived in the same residence.

Officers were called to the scene shortly after 8:00 p.m.

Prior to their arrival, the suspect - Mr. Edgar Ivan Salinas-Leal, age 24 - fled in the victim’s vehicle: a blue/green 2006 Chevy Uplander with Wisconsin license plates 69157D.

He is believed to be with his wife Jessica and their infant child.

There is a warrant for his arrest, and the MPD has asked law enforcement agencies, inside and outside of Wisconsin, to be on the lookout.

Mr. Salinas-Leal should be considered armed and dangerous. Anyone seeing him should call 911.

The Dane County Medical Examiner will release the name of the victim after all of his family is notified


UPDATED: Saturday, February 4, 2012 -- 7:46 a.m.

The 38-year-old man who was shot last night on Madison's north side was pronounced dead at the scene, Madison Public Information Officer Joel DeSpain tells NBC15.

DeSpain says the victim's name is not being released at this time. The suspect, 24-year-old Edgar Ivan Salinas-Leal fled the scene in a 2006 Chevy Uplander he stole from the victim. Authorities believe he fled the scene with his wife, Jessica, and their infant daughter.

Authorities say the Salinas-Leal and his family lived in the same side of a duplex on the 44-hundred block of White Aspen Road. The two men were in a verbal dispute in that duplex when police believe Salinas-Leal fired at least one shot at his victim.

Salinas-Leal is considered armed and dangerous. Police do not know where he might have gone, but they've spread the word to other law enforcement departments in the area. If you see him, police say you should call 911 immediately.


UPDATED: Friday, February 3, 2012 --- 11:33 p.m.

The suspect in the shooting on Madison's north-side, Edgar Ivan Salinas, was last scene driving a stolen Chevy Uplander, according Madison Public Information Officer Joel DeSpain.

It is a blue, 2006 model with disabled Wisconsin plates 69157D


UPDATED: Friday, February 3, 2012 -- 11:15 p.m.

From the Madison Police Department:

Incident Type:
Weapons Violation

Incident Date:
02/03/2012 - 8:08 PM

White Aspen Rd.

Male, age 38, Madison

The MPD is asking for help locating a person of interest following a shooting on Madison's North Side Friday night.

Mr. Edgar I. Salinas, age 24, Madison, is believed to be driving a blue 2006 Uplander with disabled Wisconsin plates 69157D.

Shortly after 8:00 p.m., officers were dispatched to White Aspen Rd. after a 38-year old Madison man was shot. He suffered life-threatening injuries.

Mr. Salinas is acquainted with the victim. He should be considered armed and dangerous.

Anyone seeing Mr. Salinas or the blue Uplander should call 911.


UPDATED: Friday, February 3, 2012 --- 9:45p.m.

We are continuing to follow breaking news tonight.

Madison police are investigating a shooting on the north side (4400 block of White Aspen).

NBC15's Leigh Mill has learned an adult man has been shot, he has life-threatening injuries.

Police are looking for a suspect and the vehicle used in this crime. Police do not believe it was a random act.

Stay with NBC15.com for continuing coverage.


Posted: Friday, February 3, 2012 --- 8:49p.m.

Around 8 p.m. Friday, Madison Police responded to the 4400 block of White Aspen Rd. for a report of a gun shot wound victim.

We have crew on the scene and will bring you more as it becomes available.

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