Ohio doctor Ali Salim pleaded guilty to murder Thursday in connection with the murder of 23-year-old Deanna Ballman and her nearly full-term baby via lethal heroin injection. Salim was charged with two counts of murder, one for rape, one for tampering with evidence, and another for abuse of a corpse.
"Knowing all the potential punishments do you still wish to enter a plea of guilt this morning to these five counts?" asked Judge Duncan Whitney.
"Yes, your honor," replied Salim.
Ballman was found dead in the back her car of an apparent heroin overdose on July 31, 2012, one day after responding to the ad. The last her mother heard from her was a few hours after Ballman’s Craigslist “interview,” in a phone conversation during which Ballman complained of feeling dizzy. Salim is accused of lethally injecting Ballman, who was nine months pregnant, with heroin and then doing “inhumane things” to her corpse.
After entering guilty pleas on all charges, the judge placed Salim on house arrest on $1 million bond. When the bail bondsman heard that Salim was pleading guilty, he tried to take back the bond, but it was too late.
“The deaths of Deanna Ballman and baby Mabel are senseless and tragic,” said Kyle Rohrer, the prosecutor on the case. “Mr. Salim faces 37 years in prison, but no prison sentence will ever make up for the loss this family has suffered.”
Ballman’s grandmother, Sigrid Ballman, is heartbroken over the horrific tragedy.
"I don't get to rock my great-grandaughter like I did the rest of my grandkids. He took two lives and he just sits there like he didn't do anything wrong," said Sigrid.
Salim is set to be sentenced on Dec. 20 and will remain on house arrest until then.