Police: Family friend involved in killing of husband, wife

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Investigators say robbery was their motive.

Two men, including a family friend, have been arrested for the deaths of a husband and wife in the Strawberry Mansion section of Philadelphia.

Terry Ballard, 26, and Justen Smith, 19, were arrested for the Thursday morning killings.

Furthermore, police say, Ballard's grandmother was friends with the victims - 79-year-old Rufus Perry and 66-year-old Gladys Perry.

Police say the suspects had been hired by the couple to do some odd jobs around the house.

Instead, police say, Gladys Perry found them going through an envelope where, it was believed, some money was kept.

When she confronted them, the suspects allegedly attacked as Rufus Perry came to her aid.

In the end, both victims were strangled and suffocated, police said. They were pronounced dead on the scene.

Ballard and Smith got away with $120 and a gold chain.

However, the break in the case came as investigators talked to neighbors, who knew the men from the neighborhood and saw them in the back yard on the day of the murders.

The suspects were picked up by officers right around the corner from the crime scene, Clark said.

Both Ballard and Smith admitted their involvement in the killings, police said.

They have been charged with two counts of murder, robbery and related offenses.

The Perrys were relatives of Street Department Deputy Commissioner Donald Carlton.
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