On Thursday, June 27, 2024, 8 News Now reported that prosecutors in Clark County, Nevada had asked for Judge Erika Ballou to be removed from overseeing criminal cases.

According to Chief Deputy District Attorney Chris Hamner, the District Attorney’s office argued before Chief Judge Jerry Wiese that Judge Ballou should no longer preside over criminal cases that their office prosecutes. Hamner stated that hundreds of victims in cases before Judge Ballou are represented by the District Attorney, so the office felt it necessary to request her removal from criminal matters given the issues that had arisen.

The motion stemmed from Judge Ballou’s handling of the case of Mia Christman, who was originally indicted by a grand jury in 2013 for a violent crime spree. Judge Ballou later vacated Christman’s conviction and ordered her release from prison. When prosecutors appealed to the Nevada Supreme Court, Judge Ballou failed to adhere to two orders from the higher court concerning the case. This led the Supreme Court to order Chief Judge Wiese to remove Judge Ballou from the Christman case in May 2024. As a result, Christman was sent back to prison to finish her original sentence.

Additionally, District Attorney Steve Wolfson had filed a complaint against Judge Ballou with the Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline at the end of April 2024. The complaint alleged five violations of judicial ethics. Chief Deputy Hamner argued to Chief Judge Wiese that Judge Ballou should be removed from presiding over criminal cases until the ethics complaint was resolved, and instead focus solely on civil matters.

Judge Ballou had previously faced unrelated ethics charges in other cases, including some related to social media posts, such as a photo of herself in a hot tub with two public defenders. She accepted responsibility for violating several judicial conduct rules in a June agreement with the Commission.

Chief Judge Wiese noted he would review courtroom video from the Christman case before making a decision about prosecutors’ requested motion to remove Judge Ballou from criminal cases.

 

 

Source: 8 News Now