[IMGR="white"]http://www.drugs-forum.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=35511&stc=1&d=1382673555[/IMGR] A former Ohio doctor accused of killing a pregnant woman last year by injecting her with heroin after she answered a Craigslist ad pleaded guilty today for her death and that of her nearly full-term unborn child.
Ali Salim, 44, entered the pleas in Delaware County Court, north of Columbus, ahead of his trial scheduled for next week.
He faces 37 years in prison at a December sentencing.
Salim pleaded guilty to two counts of involuntary manslaughter in the deaths of Deanna Ballman and her unborn daughter, who was to be named Mabel Lilly.
Ballman, 23, was nine months pregnant when she died.
Salim also pleaded guilty to tampering with evidence and abuse of a corpse, described as 'inhumane things'.
He also entered a type of guilty plea to a charge of rape under which he maintains his innocence but acknowledges prosecutors had enough evidence to convict him.
The tampering with evidence charge alleges Salim erased photos and video of Ballman from his phone, though the images were later recovered by investigators, said Kyle Rohrer, assistant Delaware County Prosecutor.
The guilty pleas avoid any uncertainties from a trial and gave Salim the chance to take responsibility in court, Rohrer said.
Ballman's mother and sister attended the hearing but declined to comment. The family appreciates the work of investigators and will speak at sentencing, their lawyer Greg Helser said today.
Salim remains free on house arrest on $1 million bond.
Ballman was last seen alive on July 31, 2012, when she left her home in suburban Columbus, telling her family she was answering a Craigslist ad for a housecleaner.
She called her mother a few hours later saying she was feeling dizzy. The call was then lost and her family couldn't reach her again.
Ballman's body was found in the back of her car the next day on a rural road a few miles from Salim's house in an upscale neighborhood.
Salim's attorney, Sam Shamansky, has said Ballman was prostituting herself to feed a drug habit. Messages were left with Shamansky on Thursday.
Authorities say there's no evidence that Ballman was a drug user, but they have said she was responding to a personal ad, not a job ad.
Rohrer declined to discuss the allegations Thursday. He said a full presentation of the state's case would be made at sentencing.
Women who previously answered ads placed by Salim reported being accosted, sexually assaulted or asked to be alone in the house while he painted the human digestive system on their abdomens, according to police records.
Salim is also the target of a $40 million lawsuit filed by Ballman's family earlier this year blaming him for her death.
That lawsuit, which also named Salim's employer and Craigslist, has been on hold during the criminal case.
Previous reports suggested she may have met with Salim after he put a call out for models.
Assistant county prosecutor Kyle Rohrer said in February that Salim treated Ballman's body 'in a very inhumane way,' but wouldn't elaborate on how.
Prosecutors believe the doctor has gone by the cyber handle 'extremephotoenthusias' on Craigslist.
According to an email obtained by 10TV in September 2012, the doctor wrote that he was willing to pay $300 if young women can keep their work 'drama free,' adding 'I just don't need the drama.'
He also told women that they could 'wear anything but black or brown bra, and panties are essential. I will take most shots from the back.'
Ballman died of a heroin overdose but also had morphine and codine in her blood at the time of her death and her urine contained morphine, monoacetylmorphine, codeine, acetylocodine and diacetylmorphine.
Licensure information from the state indicates Salim was born in Pakistan and trained there at King Edward Medical College, graduating in 1993. He told the State Medical Board of Ohio that his specialties were internal medicine, emergency medicine and psychiatry.
Salim was working at a health care facility in neighboring Knox County but lost his privileges there once the case became public, Shamansky said. Shamansky declined reporters' request to talk to Salim.
October 24, 2013
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