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Akron man sentenced to life in prison for stabbing deaths of 2 men in their 60s

Jason Shockley killed victims in 2020
Prison bars
Posted at 3:18 PM, Apr 18, 2022

CLEVELAND — An Akron man was sentenced to life in prison for the murders of two men inside their homes in 2020.

Jason Shockley, 32, pleaded guilty in March to two counts of murder and two counts of aggravated robbery.

On April 8, 2020, Shockley stabbed 69-year-old Ben King to death inside his Akron home on Kent Court.

A little over a month later, Shockley stabbed 68-year-old Gary Ballis to death inside his Akron home on Wilmot Street.

After Ballis' murder, police found Shockley in possession of Ballis' stolen vehicle, as well as knives and credit cards that belonged to Ballis.

During the sentencing hearing, family members of the victims expressed their anger and anguish.

According to King's daughter, Patricia Jodon, Shockley stole money that King had been saving so that loved ones could pay for his cremation one day.

"You took my dad's life for what? $3,000? I hope he gave you a fight before he went down. He didn't deserve to be stabbed 33 times," Jodon said.

Kathleen Deakin, Ballis's niece, told the court via video that Ballis was witty intelligent, and he championed the rights of the LGBTQ community.

"There are no excuses in this world that you could offer that would justify the taking of his life," Deakin said while fighting back tears.

Investigators later determined that Shockley knew both of the victims because his mother was their caretaker.

At the time of the murders, Shockley lived in an abandoned house a few houses down from King and less than a mile from Ballis, investigators said.

Moments before he was sentenced, Shockley apologized to the families.

"I can never make amends for what I did, but I'm not a bad person," he said.

Jodon later told News 5 that the apology meant nothing to her, a sentiment she also shared in court.

"No one should ever feel sorry for you. My dad can finally rest in peace knowing I fought and fought and didn't give up until justice was served," she said.

Shockley will be eligible for parole after serving a minimum of 25 years.

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