Douglas County District Attorney Charles Branson announces that today a jury convicted Lawrence resident Stacey N. Ballard, 24, of aggravated robbery.
The case stems from events that began on Sunday, January 8, 2017 at approximately 9:30 p.m. The victim was walking home from work when a black pickup truck approached him and asked him for directions. The driver of the truck was later identified as Ballard. The victim was suspicious and attempted to read the license plate on the truck. The truck passenger, later identified as John T. Baker, pulled out a weapon that appeared to be a shotgun, pointed it at the victim, demanded his belongings be handed over and threatened to shoot him. The victim gave Ballard his iPhone, his wallet and its contents and his server’s apron that contained approximately $52 cash. After handing over his belongings, the victim was forced to lie on the ground and was threatened to be shot if he got up. Ballard drove away and the victim summoned help when he lost sight of the truck.
Earlier this year, a jury convicted Baker of robbery. The Court sentenced him to 130 months in the custody of the Kansas Secretary of Corrections.
Ballard’s jury trial began in the Division Five Courtroom on Monday, December 11th with jury selection and opening statements being delivered at approximately 2:15 p.m. The case continued throughout most of the day Tuesday and the jury returned today at 9:00 a.m. for closing statements. The jury deliberated for approximately three hours before returning its verdict.
Ballard faces 55-247 months in prison for the aggravated robbery conviction. Her actual sentence will depend on her prior criminal history. The Court revoked her bond, ordered a pre-sentence investigation be completed and scheduled her to be sentenced on February 1 at 11:00 a.m.
The Honorable Paula B. Martin presided over both criminal cases. The case was investigated by the Lawrence Police Department. Ballard’s case was prosecuted by Chief Assistant District Attorney David Melton and Baker’s case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Kathleen Britton.
*Rule 226 - Kansas Rules of Professional Conduct
3.6 Advocate: Trial Publicity
3.8 Advocate: Special Responsibilities of a Prosecutor