SEBASTIAN COUNTY, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Jared Lee Ball, 32, has been charged in Sebastian County Circuit Court with Murder in the First Degree and a host of other charges, according to a press release from the prosecuting attorney, Daniel Shue.
Ball is being held in the Sebastian County Detention Center on a $500,000 cash bond.
The release states that the other charges in the case are:
- Domestic battering in the Third Degree, 2nd offense, a Class D felony
- Aggravated Assault on a Family or Household Member, Class D felony
- Possession of Mitragynine 28-200g (aka Kratom), Class B felony
- Possession of drug paraphernalia, Class A misdemeanor
- Being a habitual offender
In an affidavit filed with the court, a Sebastian County detective stated that he was called to North 50th Street in Fort Smith at 8:18 a.m. on January 20 on a call regarding a child not breathing. The first officer on the scene found Ball “in extreme distress,” and added that three-year-old and five-year-old children were present, in addition to the one-year-old victim.
The child was taken to Mercy Hospital and pronounced dead at 9:09 a.m.
The filing states that at the hospital, there were blue bruises on the baby’s ribcage “that were consistent with the violent shaking…that occurred [on] January 19.” The medical examiner’s feedback stated that “there was at least one forceful blow to the front of the chest which caused a laceration of the heart and hemorrhage into the pericardial sac. This was the injury primarily responsible for death.”
The medical examiner spoke to investigators and advised them that “the injury to the heart could not have been caused by a fall, or by the child rolling off of the bed and striking a bedside table.” He also added that the injury could not have been caused by a five-year-old child.
Investigators interviewed Ball’s girlfriend and she reported that he had been physically abusive with her multiple times in the past. In one incident, she stated that he punched her in the ribs, “causing her to have pain that lasted in excess of a month.” In another, he grabbed her by the neck and choked her.
She also said that “he sometimes threatens to kill her.” She noted that each altercation occurred because she told him to leave.
Investigators reported that Ball had been arrested for Domestic Battery in the 3rd degree in Sebastian County in 2018.
Ball will be arraigned in the Circuit Court of Sebastian County on February 2 at 8:30 a.m.