Could Travis Ball face death penalty?

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The man accused of shooting and killing a Virginia State Police special agent remains behind bars after a judge denied him bond.

Travis Ball, who was arraigned in court Tuesday morning, is charged with malicious wounding and firearms charges in connection with last week’s shooting death of Virginia State Police Special Agent Michael Walter.

 

Why isn’t he charged with murder? That question has flooded our social media pages in recent days. Essentially, the charges against him right now are enough to keep him locked up. And that’s all investigators need as they work to build a strong case against him.

When police tracked down Ball early Saturday morning in Lancaster County, they arrested him for malicious wounding and firearms violations. At the time, VSP Special Agent Walter was still clinging to life.

After Walter was pronounced dead, people expected more serious charges against the man suspected of killing him. 8News Legal Analyst Russ Stone believes they’re coming.

“I fully expect within the next month or so, you will see additional charges placed that will probably become a lot more serious than malicious wounding,” Stone explained.

Stone says that as long as Ball is in custody, police and prosecutors are going to take their time putting together a case against him. It’s an investigation that could lead to the death penalty.

“That’s the kind of thing because it involves the death penalty that the prosecutors are going to be careful about,” Stone said. “They’re not going to just do it on a whim, they’re going to want to review as much as evidence as possible and then make a fully informed, intelligent decision as to what to charge.”

Stone says prosecutors could file more serious charges against Ball at any time, but it’s more likely they will take the case to a grand jury.

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