By Audrey Thomasson
LANCASTER—A man charged with capital murder in the death last June of Virginia State Police special agent Michael Walter in Richmond was back in Lancaster County Circuit Court Friday to face probation violation charges.
Travis Aaron Ball, 27, of Richmond was found guilty of probation violation on a felony conviction after testing positive for cocaine and failing to report to his probation officer.
Ball testified that he believed his supervised probation had ended a year after his 2014 conviction. However, probation officer Cara Mellanson testified the jurisdiction denied his release due to concern that he had relapsed after his tests showed cocaine use. She said she was unable to locate him at the address and phone number given and that he failed to pay restitution.
Ball claimed the positive tests were a result of being tricked by friends into smoking cigarettes laced with cocaine. He also stated he had tried to contact Mellanson and his attorney, but no one returned his calls.
Ball “failed to meet every condition set by the court in 2014,” said Judge R. Michael McKenney. “I commend you for completing the (drug abuse) program.” However, he noted Ball’s positive tests for cocaine and $746 outstanding in restitution for court costs. “There has been no payment on court costs…never an attempt to pay even one or two dollars” to show good faith, the judge said.
He sentenced Ball to four years of active sentence.
Judge McKenney also presided over the following cases on September 29.
Centrix Brandell Palmer of Lancaster, in court on probation violation, paid $300 in restitution costs. “The system is not designed to wait until the last minute. It is designed to pay every month,” said Judge McKenney. He ordered Palmer to pay $50 a month on the remaining $2,194 owed. The show cause was dismissed.
Brandy Nicole Bartron of Yorktown was in court on two charges of probation violation. One charge was dismissed after the defense noted jeopardy had attached. Bartron pled no contest to the second charge and produced a $240 mechanic’s bill for car trouble which prevented her from appearing. The judge nolle prosequi the charge.
Tappahannock resident Ashley D. Hosmer’s trial date was to be set. However, it was continued to October 10. She is charged with felony probation violations.
The trial of Kionte Richon Walters of Kilmarnock was postponed to December 8. Walters is facing four charges of felony manufacture/distribution of a controlled substance.
The trial of James Charles Newton of Weems was continued to December 15 on a motion by defense. He is charged with manufacture and distribution of a controlled substance.
The trial of Cintez Carneal Gibson of Lancaster was postponed to October 20 on a motion by defense. He is charged with felony distribution of schedule I/II drugs.
Devon Kwadueantis Kelley of Lancaster, charged with distribution of schedule I/II drugs was called off when the Commonwealth’s Attorney nolle prosequi the charge.
The trial of Tawan Martas Rice of Heathsville was continued to November 17. Rice is facing two felony charges of manufacture and distribution of a controlled substance.
Clifford Ray Dawson Jr. of Kilmarnock, charged with two felonies of manufacture/distribution of a controlled substance was set for trial on December 8.
Matthew Gregory Carr of Heathsville pled guilty to an amended charge of misdemeanor failure to register as a sex offender. He was sentenced to 12 months with 10 months suspended. The judge added two years of supervised probation to the sentence.
Richmond resident Cara D. Mellanson’s charge of misdemeanor failure to appear in the Travis Ball case, was dismissed.
Myshaun Tihee Porter of Burgess pleaded guilty to an amended charge of felony unlawful wounding for an incident in the WalMart parking lot. He was given a 12 month sentence, all suspended, two years unsupervised probation and court costs of $372.
The case against Donald Fauntleroy of White Stone, for misdemeanor DWI and other traffic violations was continued on a motion by defense. Counsel is to be appointed on October 27.
The case of Thomas Earl Kelly Jr. was set for trial on October 20. He is charged with misdemeanor assault and battery of a family member.