Wednesday, April 13, 2011

First-Degree Murder Trial Begins In Worcester

The trial of a man charged in the stabbing death of Russell Matthew Bailey III has begun in Worcester  County. 

The trial was postponed until April because prosecutors believe the defendant, James Edward Ballard,  had placed phone calls to witnesses even though  Ballard claimed  he contacted no one.

In September 2010 Russell Matthew Bailey III was found across the steet from the Pocomoke Middle School wtih a stab wound.  Ballard already had an extensive criminal background.

Jennifer Shutt
Staff Writer
Daily Times  4/13/11
SNOW HILL -- Opening statements started the first-degree murder trial of James Edward Ballard in Worcester County Circuit Court.
Ballard was charged with first-degree murder and first-degree assault after police alleged he stabbed and killed Russell Matthew Bailey last September. If found guilty, he could face up to life in prison.

During opening statements, the jury of six men and six women listened to State's Attorney Beau Oglesby recall significant historic events including Pearl Harbor, the assassination of John F. Kennedy and the events of Sept. 11.

"Sept. 29 is one of those days for Mattie Fletcher," said Oglesby, referring to Bailey's mother. "That's the day her life changed."

Burton Anderson, defense attorney for Ballard, told the jury "teenage gangster wannabes" had been threatening Ballard and told him that day he was not going to leave alive. During his testimony, Harvey Hall said the day Bailey died, Bailey, Richard Williams and Martel Blake had been throwing stones at Ballard, while he called 911 for help.

Phone calls to police and court documents were shown before Bailey was stabbed in an altercation about a scooter a week earlier, which would start off a series of progressively violent incidents between Ballard, Bailey, Williams and Balke.

Court documents show on Sept. 21 Ballard and Bailey argued about the scooter. A man named Jeremy Douglas was trying to take it. Bailey later became involved in the argument.

The ongoing conflict between Ballard and the other men in Pocomoke escalated. Police said Ballard was treated at the Pocomoke emergency medical station for a stab wound to his hand on Sept. 24 and told police Blake had thrown a bicycle at him just before Williams stabbed him in the hand. He said the men approached him about the ongoing scooter dispute.

"You don't have to wait until you are crumbled in the street in a pool of blood to avenge yourself," said Anderson during his opening statement.

Throughout the afternoon, jurors heard how Bailey, Blake and Williams confronted Ballard the afternoon of Sept. 29.

Harvey Hall testified he was with the men that day, trying to calm the situation as Bailey, Blake and Williams threw rocks at Ballard.

Hall testified that after Ballard called 911 for help and the police began to arrive, he, Bailey, Blake and Williams all ran away. A few moment later, Hall said he saw Bailey hunched over bleeding.

Witness testimony is scheduled to continue today.



Anonymous said...

"teenage gangster wannabes"-I'm sick of them. They all desperately need to be dropped off in Compton CA (notorious for gang violence) for a day or 2 to be taught a lesson. They are annoying to everyone including the real gangstas.

Anonymous said...

Have the Brady Commission or any other "victim's advocates" made any attempts to control knives? How about thrown bicycles? Didn't think so.

Anonymous said...

"control knives" "thrown bicycles" how silly you are 2:58.
I realize you are being sarcastic but in reality someone intent on murder armed with a firearm is alot more dangerous than someone armed with a knife or a bicycle!

Anonymous said...

they were walking together on market street earlier that day.

sounds like he was the adult in the situation. why not just walk away?

Anonymous said...

Is he trying to pass himself for the victim?

Anonymous said...

This guy is not a teen. But I bet he was their 'mentor'.

At one point he lived near the victim.