New court date set for man accused of killing state trooper

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RICHMOND, Va. -- The man accused of killing Virginia State Police Trooper Mike Walter is now scheduled to appear next in front of a judge on July 13, according to a court hearing Wednesday morning.

The court date is scheduled as a motions hearing.

Travis Ball, 27, was arraigned on a Capital Murder charge for the killing of Walter in June. 

Ball shot and killed the Virginia State Police special agent after Walter approached the car where Ball in Richmond's Mosby Court community the evening of Friday, May 26, 2017, according to police.

A search warrant affidavit stated, the driver of the car (who CBS 6 is not identifying because he is a key witness) was in the driver's seat of a Chevrolet sedan on Redd Street in the city of Richmond when he was approached by two police officers.

Ball surrendered to law enforcement the next morning at a relative's home in the Northern Neck.

Ball has been appointed attorneys from the Capital Defender's office.

"Killing a law enforcement officer for the purpose of interfering with his or her duties qualifies a homicide for prosecution as capital murder," explained Richmond Commonwealth's Attorney Mike Herring.

Special Agent Michael T. Walter

Walter, a husband and father of three, was also a wrestling coach who co-founded Blackhawk Gym in Powhatan.

"There's nothing pleasant about this, and so I don't want the public to think that we were charged up to indict Mr. Ball or try him for capital murder. It's of necessity that we are taking him to trial," Herring said. "Hopefully it sends a message that we certainly scrutinize the actions of the police, but we equally scrutinize the actions of the general public when they take steps against the police."

If convicted, jury has the option to sentence Ball to either life in prison without possibility of parole or death.

Herring said it was too soon to say if he planned to seek the death penalty in the case.

"We're still collecting evidence of the crime and hopefully as time goes on, we will learn more about the defendant and then we can make an assessment of whether death is an appropriate request," Herring said.

Depend on and CBS 6 News for continuing coverage of this important local story. 

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