Man convicted of shooting Mariposa County deputy could spend the next two decades in prison

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Brian Ballasch was sentenced to 27 years in prison after pleading guilty Wednesday to shooting Deputy Rudy Mirelez. (KFSN)

The case of the man convicted of shooting a Mariposa County Sheriff's deputy is now closed. Brian Ballasch was sentenced to 27 years in prison after pleading guilty Wednesday to shooting Deputy Rudy Mirelez.

Mariposa County Sheriff Doug Binneweis gave a statement on behalf of the department, looking directly at Ballasch as it came to a close. He said while Ballasch will face time, he believes it's just not enough.

"When a bad guy shoots a cop in the face. I would prefer they don't ever see the light of day again but the state's legal system just isn't structured that way anymore."

Ballasch was arrested in October 2015, after a deputy tried to stop him while he was driving erratically on Highway 49 near Mariposa.

Ballasch crashed his car into another deputy's vehicle and when he stepped out; he opened fire and shot deputy Rudy Mirelez in the face and upper body with a 45 caliber gun.

Ballasch is a former US Marine and suffers from PTSD.

District Attorney Thomas Cooke said Ballasch is severely mentally ill but that he's glad he will serve time.

"Felt like it was a risk to go to trial, he could've been found not guilty for reason of insanity and spending a short period of time in the state hospital before he's released. Would I like more, absolutely, but I think this is the best outcome."

Ballasch's attorney said both he and his family are extremely remorseful. He turned to the several deputies sitting behind him to give them his last statement.

"To the court and all these gentlemen behind me, especially Deputy Mirelez, I apologize for what I did."

The Sheriff said, luckily, the deputy who was injured is improving day by day.

"Can't imagine the terror his wife and children have gone through. Speaking with Rudy their stronger and tighter now," said Binnewies.

Ballasch is currently housed at the Stanislaus County Jail but will later be transported to another facility to serve his sentence.
Related Topics:
newsmariposa countydeputy-involved shooting
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