Archive for Thursday, May 18, 2017

Judge reschedules trial-setting date for second armed robbery suspect

May 18, 2017

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The trial process for the second suspect in an armed robbery near the University of Kansas campus is moving forward slowly.

Stacey Ballard, 24, currently faces a single felony count of aggravated robbery. She was arrested on Jan. 17, one day after John Baker, 33, was arrested in connection with the same incident. Baker has since been convicted.

Thursday afternoon Ballard appeared in Douglas County District Court, though her attorney, Debra Ann Vermillion, did not. Instead another local attorney, Christopher Coleman, appeared, saying he was filling in for Vermillion.

The purpose of Thursday's meeting was for Judge Paula Martin to set a date for Ballard's criminal trial to begin. However, rather than have Coleman speak on behalf of Vermillion for possible dates, Martin rescheduled the hearing for next month.

On the new date, Vermillion will need to appear, Martin noted.

Ballard's charge stems from the evening of Jan. 8, when a man walking home from work near the intersection of West Campus Road and West Hills Terrace was approached by a black pickup truck, whose occupants asked for directions, the Journal-World previously reported. Baker, a passenger in the truck, pulled out a shotgun, pointed it at the man and demanded his belongings.

The man surrendered his photos, wallet and cash. Baker then told him to lie on the ground and threatened to shoot if he got up. The truck then drove away.

The precise nature of Ballard's reported involvement in the crime was not immediately clear.

Ballard posted a $10,000 bond in February and was released from jail. She is now scheduled to appear, alongside Vermillion, on June 1, when Martin will set a date for her trial.

Baker was found guilty of a single felony count of robbery on May 10 and is awaiting the completion of a pre-sentence investigation. He is scheduled to appear in court on June 29 for sentencing.

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