Michael Balle has more than 60 Facebook friends, and shares his personal info with everyone. But what he doesn't share is the fact that he's connecting to Facebook from inside prison.
BILOXI, MS (WLOX) -
A convicted felon from Ocean Springs is serving a life sentence without parole. Believe it or not, that convicted felon has a Facebook page. A concerned citizen wants to know how Michael Balle has access to the web. He contacted Action Reporter AJ Giardina who investigated those claims.
Michael Balle has more than 60 Facebook friends, and shares his personal info with everyone. He went to Ocean Springs High School. He's from Seattle, Washington and was born on March 8th, 1977.
But what he doesn't share is the fact that he's connecting to Facebook from inside prison.
Balle's online profile with the Mississippi Department of Corrections was taken in 2002 when he entered prison. Balle's older now, but the personal info matches right down to the birth date.
An anonymous source at the Department of Corrections looked at the Facebook page and confirmed the photo is the same man incarcerated.
Twelve years ago, Balle was arrested on a capital murder charge for the death of 25-year-old Rachel Bellman. She was stabbed 19 times with a beer bottle and strangled with a belt. Her body was discovered days later rolled up inside a carpet behind a vacant house on Firestone Road.
Balle and another man were convicted of the murder and sentenced to life behind bars. But some how, from inside the walls of Wilkinson County Correctional Facility in Woodville, Balle launched a Facebook page, and is connecting to some people who may have no clue he's a convicted killer.
Checking Balle's Facebook wall, he posts a few times a month. On June 7, he responded to a friend at 5:55 p.m. On May 7, he was on his Facebook page at 12:16 a.m., And on March 8 at 4:05 in the afternoon.
I contacted public information officer Angela Smith at the Correctional Facility to find out if prison officials were aware of Balle's online activities. I told Angela that we had learned that one of the inmates, Michael Balle, has a Facebook page. I asked her how someone who is serving a life sentence for capital murder has a Facebook account?
Smith was not aware of Balle's page, so I sent her the link.
Five hours later, she sent me this email which stated, "We appreciate your sharing this information with us. CCA's top priority is the safety and security of our facilities, employees and the inmates entrusted to our care. While we cannot speak to the specifics of an issue that may be under investigation, we take all allegations seriously and act swiftly to investigate them."
A person with the Department of Corrections who wants to remain anonymous told me Balle's cell phone was confiscated at 7:30 Tuesday night.
Friday, May 24 2013 11:35 AM EDT2013-05-24 15:35:04 GMT
It was a wild night after a liquor store robber shoved two people into a cooler, got into a shootout with police and drove the wrong way on Interstate 70 before crashing into a Fed-Ex truck.The suspect,More >
It was a wild night after a liquor store robber shoved two people into a cooler, got into a shootout with police and drove the wrong way on Interstate 70 before crashing into a Fed-Ex truck.More >
Thursday, May 23 2013 7:57 PM EDT2013-05-23 23:57:02 GMT
A massive tornado was carving its way through town. There was no time to hesitate. LaTisha Garcia had to get to her children. And so she raced against the storm. She had 30 miles to cover from her jobMore >
A massive tornado was carving its way through town. There was no time to hesitate. LaTisha Garcia had to get to her children.More >
Thursday, May 23 2013 7:30 PM EDT2013-05-23 23:30:51 GMT
The Lafayette County Prosecutor has charged the father of a 10-week-old baby with her violent death.Alex Anthony Gilbert, 24, of Independence was charged with second-degree murder. His daughter died fourMore >
The Lafayette County Prosecutor has charged the father of a 10-week-old baby with her violent death.More >
Friday, May 24 2013 2:25 PM EDT2013-05-24 18:25:33 GMT
A golf cart accident at Lake Quivira Country club has left two people with injuries. The accident occurred around 8:30 p.m. Thursday evening. Authorities tell us at least one of the victims will be transportedMore >
A golf cart accident at Lake Quivira Country club has left two teen girls with injuries.More >
Thursday, May 23 2013 7:13 PM EDT2013-05-23 23:13:19 GMT
Police are investigating whether a person being shot in the chest is connected to a home invasion robbery.Two men attempted to burst into a home in the 106 block of Greenwood Road when shots were fired.More >
A woman fired shots at three men attempting to break into her home, and one of the suspects was shot in the chest, police said. Her husband described the harrowing ordeal. More >
Dan Sligh and his wife were in their pickup truck on Interstate 5 heading to a camping trip when a bridge before them disappeared in a "big puff of dust."More >
A truck hauling an oversized load of drilling equipment hit an overhead bridge girder on the major route between Seattle and Canada, sending a section of the interstate into the river below as the driver watched the...More >
Thursday, May 23 2013 7:44 PM EDT2013-05-23 23:44:12 GMT
Police are investigating after elementary school kids in Johnson County allegedly had $30,000 stolen from them. Families at Valley Park Elementary, which is located off of West 123rd Street in OverlandMore >
Police are investigating after elementary school kids in Johnson County allegedly had $30,000 stolen from them.More >
Friday, May 24 2013 4:05 PM EDT2013-05-24 20:05:24 GMT
A nurse who serves on the Kauffman Stadium K-crew was able to revive a 14-year-old girl who collapsed during Thursday night's game.The girl was dancing in the upper-deck stands when she suddenly collapsed.More >
A nurse who serves on the Kauffman Stadium K-crew was able to revive a 14-year-old girl who collapsed during Thursday night's game.More >
Friday, May 24 2013 2:17 PM EDT2013-05-24 18:17:17 GMT
A water main break in south Kansas City left two churches and about 20 homes without water Friday.Kansas City water crews hope to have water restored later Friday. The 6-inch water main broke about 7 a.m.More >
A water main break in south Kansas City left two churches and about 20 homes without water Friday.More >