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Travis Ball back in custody

Alleged serial arsonist Travis Ball is back in jail and the circumstances surrounding his violation of the stipulations of his bond are bizarre. Ball was arrested late Saturday in Warner Robins after allegedly violating the terms of his bond agreement. Sheriff Brad White said Ball violated his curfew and there was evidence he had “tinkered” with his ankle monitor. Ball had been free since Feb. 19 when he posted a $150,000 cash bond in Upson County where he is charged with two counts of arson. He had previously posted a $20,000 bond in Lamar where he is charged with one arson. He is suspected of many more. Ball also paid for his own ankle monitor. Ball came under close scrutiny after certified letters were received March 14 at The Herald-Gazette and later at the sheriff’s department. The writer purported to be a student at Gordon State College suffering from terminal cancer. The writer went on to assert the serial arson fires were set by members of a fraternity at Gordon as part of a new member initiation and that Ball was innocent. There are no fraternities at Gordon State College. The certified letters were mailed from Warner Robins where Ball is confined by the terms of his probation. They were dated January 22 but postmarked March 12. The Herald-Gazette turned its letter over to sheriff White for evidence and it was sent for fingerprinting. An identical letter subsequently arrived at the sheriff’s office. It was also entered into evidence. Both letters are now at the state crime lab. Sheriff White sought a pickup order for Ball and Judge Tommy Wilson signed the order on Friday. Houston County authorities checked his home Friday night after his 9 p.m. curfew but could get no one to answer the door. He was found at home around 9:30 p.m. Saturday night, arrested and subsequently returned to the Lamar County jail. The sheriff reported the ankle monitor indicated Ball had missed his curfew twice and traveled out of his zone once, making a 2 a.m. trip to Walmart. Interestingly, there were two arson fires in Warner Robins in the period before Ball was picked up, according to sheriff White. Ball has not been charged in those fires. “The folks in Warner Robins think some juveniles did it,” the sheriff said. The letter follows: January 22, 2013 To Whom It May Concern: I’m currently a student at Gordon State College and recently have been told by my doctor that I’m dying of cancer. I’m writing to you to confess to the numerous of fires in Barnesville, Thomaston and surrounding counties. This is something I must tell you before I die and leave this world. By the time my truck driving dad mails this, I’ll probably should or will be dead. You people have arrested and charged the wrong man with arson. Mr. Travis Leroy Ball, isn’t your arsonist/serial arsonist. I know this personally because it was a group of students including myself from Gordon State College who burned down the houses in Thomaston and Barnesville. Our fraternity’s new member initiation is to burn down empty homes. Why? Our fraternity has had numerous families to lose their homes to foreclosure. Secondly, we do it to create jobs in our communities. Our President Obama has said that our economy wouldn’t get better until the housing market has turned around and he is about creating jobs. So, our fraternity has helped our President in creating jobs by burning down empty homes therefore, creating jobs for our communities. Our carpenters, plumbers electricians, etc., need jobs and we aim to help President Obama in creating job by burning down empty house/homes. We have burned down numerous homes in Barnesville. So, far 4 in Thomaston. I/we pray to God that you people don’t convict an innocent man for something that some college students did. For it is the people right here in your own communities that burned down homes/houses to create jobs for the people in their communities. May God bless my/our fraternity, communities, President Obama and the people of the United States of America.

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