RICHMOND, Va. -- Five years after he shot and killed a Virginia state trooper, Richmond prosecutors are seeking to keep a man behind bars for the rest of his life. The Office of the Commonwealth's Attorney has filed a new charge against Travis Aaron Ball, accusing him of failing to comply with the terms and conditions of a suspended sentence.
In October 2018, Ball was sentenced to life in prison for the capital murder of VSP Special Agent Mike Walter, who was gunned down while patrolling Mosby Court in May 2017.
But Judge Beverly Snukals suspended all but 36 years of Ball's sentence. Prosecutors had sought a sentence of 60 years.
Walter’s family was outraged by the judge's decision.
Then Richmond Commonwealth’s Attorney Mike Herring said he thought the punishment was far too lenient.
“I’m always reluctant to criticize things that judges do, because they have tough jobs,” said Herring outside the courthouse that day. “But I think this sentence was grossly, grossly insufficient.”
In early 2019, motivated by a CBS 6 interview with Walter’s wife, Jaime, former state senator Bill Carrico sponsored legislation that required anyone convicted of the capital murder of a law enforcement officer to spend life in prison. That bill passed the House and Senate and was signed into law that March.
Since he has been locked up, Ball has been convicted of stabbing another inmate, and he currently faces charges in connection with another attack.
As a result, Richmond prosecutors are asking a judge to order Ball to show cause why his suspended sentence should not be revoked.
“Travis Ball has continued to show that he is violent and refuses to hold himself accountable,” Jaime Walter said. “I will continue to be a presence and hope that the rest of the time is reinstated.”
Ball appeared in court via video Friday morning and was assigned a court-appointed attorney. His next hearing has been scheduled for Monday.
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