On Wednesday, May 29, 2024, 8 News Now reported that Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson filed a motion to prevent Judge Erika Ballou from presiding over any future criminal cases prosecuted by his office. In the motion, Wolfson referred to an ethics complaint he filed in April against Judge Ballou, accusing her of five violations of judicial ethics.

Wolfson’s motion called Judge Ballou’s behavior in previous cases “egregious” and noted that one potential outcome of the ethics complaint could be her removal from judicial office. To ensure impartiality for ongoing criminal cases, Wolfson argued that Judge Ballou must be recused from all matters involving the District Attorney’s office until the ethics complaint is resolved.

The motion stems from a criminal case involving Mia Christman from 2021. As an 18-year-old, Christman pleaded guilty to two felony charges related to a violent crime spree and was sentenced to a minimum of 10 years in prison. However, Judge Ballou later vacated Christman’s sentence, resulting in her early release before completing her original term.

The District Attorney’s office appealed Ballou’s decision and fought to have Christman serve the remainder of her original sentence, arguing she was manipulating the legal system. The Nevada Supreme Court reversed Ballou’s order vacating the sentence in 2022. Despite two orders from the Supreme Court, Ballou did not remand Christman back to prison to finish her term.

In March 2023, Christman’s request to the state pardons board was denied. A Nevada Supreme Court justice expressed frustration at Ballou’s “shockingly refusing to do her job” by not complying with the high court’s rulings. As a result, the Supreme Court ordered the chief district court judge to remove Ballou from the Christman case.

On May 7, 2024, after Ballou’s removal, a new district court judge ordered Christman to surrender herself. She turned herself in the following day.

In addition to the ethics complaint over her handling of the Christman case, Ballou was already facing separate ethics charges regarding an incident where she was photographed in a hot tub with two public defenders. Ballou served as a public defender for over 15 years before being appointed to the bench in 2021 for a six-year term ending in 2027.

 

 

Source: 8 News Now