Thursday, January 13, 2011

Ballard Trial Is Delayed

SNOW HILL -- The trial of a man charged in the stabbing death of Russell Matthew Bailey III has been postponed until April because prosecutors believe the defendant recently placed phone calls to witnesses.

In Circuit Court, State's Attorney Beau Oglesby requested additional time after he said he'd learned James Edward Ballard, the man charged in Bailey's murder, allegedly made Jan. 9 calls from the Worcester County Jail to two potential witnesses.

Once Oglesby learned of the calls Jan. 10, he asked the jail, which records all phone calls, to preserve the recordings. In court, Oglesby said he needs time to listen to the tapes, determine if they have any impact on the case and share the information with Ballard's lawyer.

"I didn't contact nobody," Ballard said in the courtroom.

In a conversation with his public defender that visitors in the courtroom could hear, he indicated he had made calls related to a different case, not the murder charge.

Judge Thomas C. Groton III granted the motion, saying other factors would have made trying the case difficult Wednesday.

"The court would be reluctant to proceed," Groton said, adding several people who had been summoned for jury duty had called the court, concerned about forecasted snowfall and sleet.

Ballard was charged with first-degree murder in the stabbing of 18-year-old Bailey after he confessed to police, according to charging documents, saying he'd acted in self-defense. Police allege Ballard killed Bailey with premeditation, based upon their investigation.

Bailey's body was found across the street from Pocomoke Middle School in late September. He had graduated from Pocomoke High in June.

Criminal records for Ballard from Worcester and Wicomico counties date back to 1999 and include charges for burglary, drug possession, armed robbery, assault and escaping from police custody.

The trial is currently scheduled to take place the week of April 11-15, as opposed to the one day it was scheduled to take this week. Oglesby requested a longer trial, saying witness testimony and evidence would most likely require more than one day to get through.


Anonymous said...

Maybe I am mistaken but weren't the murder charges dropped against Ballard a month or so ago? And wasn't someone else apprehended and charged with Russell Bailey's murder?

Anonymous said...

Opps I see-wrong murder. There's been so many it's hard to keep track. I've got Ballard mistaken for Crippen who was involved in the other Pocomoke City murder.

Anonymous said...

Was this the one that happened near Pocomoke Middle? This looks like the guy I saw walking with a few others before the murder on Market street. Called & told the police; but no one ever called me back.

Anonymous said...

Hey, I thought i heard thats why 'witnesses' to prior cases with him all of a sudden would not testify and most charges were dropped or noelle pros.

When will the county boys/girls at the county lock up learn? Either monitor their calls or don't let them make calls to 'witnesses' to 'bully' them into not testifying. Someone is not paying attention.

Anonymous said...

but it is hard when they themselves bully and stand 'guard' at Mikey's first Pocomoke elections.

It was really hard to tell the difference that day between the bullies in the jail and the bullies at the polls.

we will be a police state before you know it.