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Ball to spend holidays in jail

Alleged serial arsonist Travis Ball left the Lamar County courthouse in handcuffs Thursday morning and will spend the holiday season in the Lamar County jail. Judge Tommy Wilson lambasted Ball, who is charged with one count of arson here, for not complying with the terms of his bond agreement. Assistant district attorney Matt Bridges alleged Ball did not wear his ankle monitor as required, pay for the monitoring or charge the monitor as required. Defense attorney Eric Hearn noted that Ball had been in jail in Upson County, where he has been indicted on two arson counts, but released. Hearn argued Judge Mack Crawford of the Griffin circuit had addressed the monitoring issues and that Ball was now in compliance. Hearn also filed a motion for a speedy trial with Bridges, giving copies to Judge Wilson and clerk Frank Abbott. He said a motion for speedy trial has also been filed in Upson County and Ball could go to court there as early as May, 2014. Judge Wilson did not go along with Hearn’s suggestion that Ball go free under the conditions of his Upson bond. ”You have not shown proper respect. You’ve shown disrespect for this court. You’ve made a mockery of the orders of this court,” Judge Wilson said. He ordered Ball taken into custody and held until Jan. 2, 2014. Upon release, he must abide by the bond conditions and pay for and charge the monitor. In closing, the judge admonished Ball, “I don’t want to hear anything about you writing any more letters.” For full coverage of the hearing, see the Dec. 24, 2013 print edition of The Herald Gazette.

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