RICHMOND, Va. – Travis Ball, the man who was sentenced to 36 years in prison for killing Virginia State Trooper Mike Walter, plead not guilty to a federal gun charge Wednesday.
A two-day jury trial for Ball has been scheduled for January 15, 2020.
Ball was indicted by a federal grand jury in September. If convicted, Ball could face a maximum 10 years added onto his 36-year prison sentence.
The charge is in connection to the killing of Walter on May 26, 2017. Ball shot and killed Walter after Walter approached the car where Ball sat in Richmond’s Mosby Court.
According to the indictment, Ball, 30, possessed a .25 caliber firearm after previously being convicted of a felony.
Ball was charged with capital murder in the shooting death of Walter. He entered an Alford plea to one count of capital murder. An Alford Plea means Ball understood there was enough evidence to convict him of the crime, however, he did not admit guilt.
Shortly after the plea, then-Richmond Commonwealth’s Attorney Mike Herring announced Ball would no longer face the death penalty. Under the previously agreed upon plea deal, the Commonwealth of Virginia sought the maximum of 60 years in prison.
In October 2018, Circuit Court Judge Beverly W. Snukals sentenced Ball to 36 years in prison with a suspended life sentence. If Ball gets out and violates parole, he will then be sentenced to life in prison.
Walter's widow, Jamie Walter, turned her frustration with Ball’s sentence into action and fought for a new law that requires anyone convicted of the capital murder of a member of law enforcement to spend a minimum of life in prison.
Jamie was in the courtroom, just feet away from Ball, during the plea hearing Wednesday.