Ball sent back to jail |

Ball sent back to jail

by Scott Murphy, Staff Writer

Michael William Ball’s was sent back to Douglas County jail Tuesday when a judge ruled he was mistakenly released after a “clerical error” by jail staff.

Ball, 23, is charged with reckless driving and felony driving under the influence of marijuana in a July 16 car accident that killed 46-year-old Tamra Dykes on Tillman Lane in the Gardnerville Ranchos.

Ball has been in jail since July 18.

Deputy District Attorney Kris Brown told District Judge David Gamble the jail’s gaffe resulted from a misunderstanding regarding Ball’s bail status.

Ball was arrested July 8 on a drug possession charge and bail was set at $10,000, she said. He then posted the bail . The fatal accident happened July 16.

In addition to setting the bail on the car accident charges at $100,000, Justice of the Peace James EnEarl raised the previous bail stemming from the July 8 charge to $100,000. This made Ball’s total bail $200,000, Brown said.

Brown said allowing Ball to remain free on $100,000 bail instead of the $200,000 bail set by EnEarl would be wrong.

“It would allow a clerical error to override a judge’s order,” Brown said.

Gamble agreed.

“He’s simply not bailed on the other charge,” Gamble said, ordering Ball back to jail.

The judge added that he feared Ball will lose the $10,000 he posted but he let EnEarl’s $200,000 bail order stand.

On Oct. 4, Ball posted the 10 percent of the bail amount required to meet his bond to be released. A bail bonds company posted the remainder.

The court case stemming from the July 8 drug charges has been delayed by agreement between Ball’s lawyer and Brown until the DUI-drug charges are heard.

Douglas County Sheriff Ron Pierini said Ball’s release resulted from a lack of communication between East Fork Justice Court and the jail staff.

A bail review hearing is set for East Fork Justice Court for 2 p.m. today regarding the drug charges.

Gary Dykes, husband of the woman killed during the July 16 crash, said he’s glad Ball is “off the streets.”

“The (ruling) clears things up,” he said. “Everybody in the public should be relieved.”

Security was heightened for the hearing, featuring two extra bailiffs and two uniformed deputies in the hall outside the courtroom.

Numerous members of both families attended the hearing.

Ball’s bail review hearing was ordered along with conditions of his release that required he maintain telephone contact with his attorney, Terri Roeser and that he refrain from driving.

Roeser did not dispute any of Brown’s findings, but said her client posted bail in “good faith.”

“There was obviously some confusion at the jail,” she said.

Roeser added Ball had met the terms of his bail since his release.

Ball also voluntarily sought and received supervision from Doug Swalm, the justice court probation officer.

After Gamble’s ruling, Ball’s family members began crying and an unidentified woman said “we’ll get him out.”

Ball, wearing gray dress pants and a black shirt, also began crying after Gamble said he would return to jail.

Ball entered the courtroom carrying his infant child.

Ball is scheduled to stand trial regarding the fatal crash Feb. 4, 2002. He faces up to 52 years in prison if convicted.

Ball’s speed was estimated at 108 mph by law enforcement officers who investigated the crash.