After 20 minutes of deliberation, the jury in the Starke Circuit Court trial against Alan Balchunas of Monterey reached a verdict of not guilty of Domestic Battery and Strangulation. Balchunas was accused of choking and beating his ex-wife, Pamela Balchunas, following an argument that led to a physical altercation.
During the course of the trial, Pamela testified that Balchunas had put her into a headlock and beat the left side of her face and head. She said he then put his hands around her throat and started to choke her, so she reached for a baseball bat to fend him off. After hitting him twice in the head, Balchunas stumbled back and she said she then left the home.
Pamela Balchunas also told the jury that her statement was different than what she had previously told police because she was coerced to write a different story while incarcerated.
Alan Balchunas did not take the stand yesterday but in his attorney’s opening statements, Richard Ballard indicated that it was Pamela, not Alan, who truly performed the act of battery.
The state called four witnesses and the defense rested without calling any witnesses to the stand. Final arguments and jury instructions were heard Thursday morning before the jury began their deliberation. Balchunas has been cleared of the charges.