Ball rebuked by judge during bail hearing by |

Ball rebuked by judge during bail hearing by

Scott Murphy Staff Writer

Michael William Ball learns Monday if his $100,000 bail stemming from a drug charge will be lowered.

But the judge told Ball Wednesday he doesn’t trust him.

Ball, 24, appeared in East Fork Justice Court before Justice of the Peace James EnEarl to try and get his bail lowered.

“I don’t think (Ball) did anything to cause the miscommunication” that resulted in his release, EnEarl said. “On the other hand, I don’t necessarily trust Mr. Ball at all. I don’t trust his conduct. I don’t trust he’s going to make court appearances.

“Time and time again, he has repeatedly not seen the light,” he added.

EnEarl also discussed his previous conversations with Ball.

“Nothing seems to be important to you,” EnEarl told Ball. “You haven’t taken anything anybody’s said to you. You and I have had many conversations (while Ball was in court.) I told you where you were headed. I told you what was likely to happen. I might as well have spit in the wind.”

Ball was arrested July 8 and charged with possession of a controlled substance. He posted a $10,000 bail and was released.

While out on bail in that case, Ball was involved in the fatal crash in the Gardnerville Ranchos that killed 46-year-old Tamra Dykes of Gardnerville.

Earlier this month, Ball posted a $100,000 bail set after he was charged with two felony counts of driving under the influence of drugs.

Ball’s bail on the drug charge was raised in August to $100,000 by EnEarl after a bail review hearing.

District Judge David Gamble ruled Tuesday that Ball’s release was a mistake and said his correct bail total remains $200,000. Ball remains in jail.

Ball’s attorney, Terri Roeser, asked for a previously set bail amount of $10,000 to be reinstated or suggested EnEarl set a new bail in the drug possession case of $5,000.

EnEarl delayed a ruling until Monday morning.

Ball is set to stand trial in the crash case Feb. 4, 2002. He faces a maximum 52-year prison sentence.

However, EnEarl personally set another bail review hearing for Ball regarding the $100,000 bail set in his court stemming from the July 8 drug charge.

The judge said he didn’t want to “make up (his) mind” before the hearing, or immediately after arguments were presented Wednesday by Roeser and prosecutor Dina Salvucci.

However, EnEarl told Ball he doesn’t trust the defendant’s ability to make court hearings.

EnEarl added the $100,000 his family stands to lose if Ball left the area could be seen as a $5,000 per year cost to keep Ball from serving a possible 20-years in prison if he’s convicted of charges in district court.

Roeser rebuffed the claim.

“Nobody I know would risk that amount of money,” she said. Also, Roeser said if Ball were going to flee Nevada, he would have already done so.

“(Tuesday) would have been the time not to appear,” she said, of the district court hearing where he was returned to jail.

EnEarl said Ball frequently violated terms of bail and probation in justice court. The judge added he also recently reviewed Ball’s criminal history in his courtroom.

Ball’s fate could depend on the outcome of research requested by EnEarl from the prosecutor’s office regarding two warrants in Sacramento County, Calif.

Salvucci said the warrants include a charge of driving with a suspended license and the other is a warrant for failure to appear.

EnEarl said he would view the Sacramento arrest warrant for failure to appear differently if Ball was in custody in Douglas County at the time of the scheduled court appearance in Sacramento.

EnEarl asked Salvucci to research the item and determine when the warrant was issued.

Salvucci wants EnEarl to leave Ball’s bail at $100,000.

“We’ve already had two hearings” regarding his bail, she said. “Nothing’s changed.

Roeser said the two purposes of bail in her opinion regard insuring someone’s appearance in court and recognizing the danger presented to the community.

She said Ball family members who appeared in court Wednesday would have a vested interest in his court appearances after posting the bail.

Also, Roeser re-emphasized Ball’s performance when he was released for 12 days.

She said he called the jail to the point the staff was “annoyed,” called her office and voluntarily reported to Justice Court Probation Officer Doug Swalm.

He also initiated contact with Douglas County mental health services.

Roeser said Ball’s efforts proves he wants to change his life.