Defendant starts ruckus in court |

Defendant starts ruckus in court

by Kurt Hildebrand

An intoxicated, boot-wielding defendant disrupted East Fork Justice Court on Wednesday afternoon, cursing and spitting his way into jail.

Perry Ballard, 47, of Gardnerville, was scheduled to appear in court on a charge of contempt and unauthorized contact with a prisoner.

Ballard was sitting outside waiting for court to start, when officers noticed he was not sober and helped him into the Minden courtroom, placing him in the jury box to separate him from the rest of those attending the Wednesday calendar.

Ballard lay down inside the jury box and went to sleep, according to one witness. Ballard awoke suddenly, sat up, took off one boot and threw it over his shoulder and then took his other boot and clocked a court officer who was sitting with him.

Deputies and court officers escorted Ballard over to the defendant’s table where he spat and cursed at Justice of the Peace Jim EnEarl and court workers.

At one point, Ballard bit the foam cover off the defendant’s microphone and spit it out.

EnEarl revoked Ballard’s $5,000 bail and the defendant was arrested and taken downstairs to jail.

No one was injured in the incident.

Ballard appeared in court on charges that stemmed from a previous appearance on a charge of driving under the influence.

He was arrested Aug. 29 after being pulled over for speeding on Highway 395 near Holbrook Junction. Ballard, who had a .24 blood alcohol content, admitted the DUI on Sept. 1 and was ordered to pay a fine. A warrant was issued Nov. 13 for his arrest after he failed to pay the $692 fine or appear in court to explain why. He turned himself in on Dec. 15. That was when jail deputies found three bindles of chewing tobacco concealed in Ballard’s socks and underwear.