The day before a Silver Springs father shot his estranged wife in the face and was killed by one of his teenage daughters, the woman told prosecutors she was fearful he would go free on sexual assault and incest charges and come for revenge.
"She was upset he'd gotten out of jail. She was afraid that he'd come back and maybe beat her," said Lyon County District Attorney Leon Aberasturi of the conversation he had with Cindy Ball.
Walter Nelson Ball, 43, shot his wife, Cindy, at the family's Via Camino home before he ordered three of his daughters to disrobe at gunpoint and go with him to a secluded park, where he sexually assaulted them, said Lyon County Detective Rob Hall.
Prosecutor Aberasturi said when he explained to Cindy Ball on Tuesday the court case against her husband would be a long, stressful process on her daughter, the mother responded, "Why are we doing this if he's just going to beat it?"
The conversation came about when Cindy Ball called to ask for a delay of the preliminary hearing so she could take one of her daughters to an event out of town, he said.
Ball waived his right to a speedy trial June 16 on seven counts of sexual assault, incest and assault with a deadly weapon. He had sexually assaulted his daughter at least three times between January and May, the criminal complaint against him charges.
During that hearing, Justice of the Peace William Rogers granted Defense Attorney Lane Mill's request for a bail reduction, warning Ball to stay away from his family and the house. Ball's father posted a $100,000 bail the following day, investigators said.
Both Rogers and Mills declined comment on the ruling.
Aberasturi said Deputy District Attorney Chet Kafchinski likely lost the argument against bail reduction because of Ball's clean criminal record - only two minor traffic infractions - and the defense's presentation that his wife was visiting him while he was in jail.
Early Wednesday morning, Walter Ball broke into a friend's home and brutally beat Norma Clemensen, 56. He then went a block west to his family's home and wounded Cindy Ball while she was in her bedroom.
Detective Rob Hall said Ball then ordered three daughters, ages 14, 16 and 19, to undress and forced them to leave the home with him. He left unharmed another daughter and his son, Hall said.
"The three children that he took from the residence were more involved in the criminal investigation than the two he left behind," he said.
Lt. John Arndell said the girls told police their father was drunk when he took them to a secluded part of Lahontan State Park, beat them with a crowbar, and sexually assaulted them.
When Ball passed out in the back of the vehicle, one of the girls grabbed his gun and shot him in the forehead, Arndell said. They drove the truck out of the treeline, where they encountered some people and eventually flagged down a deputy, he said. Ball was pronounced dead at the scene.
"Investigators feared that something like this would happen," Arndell said. "The family was afraid. We'd gotten a (protective order) and had extra patrols on the house. He'd made all kinds of threats."
Aberasturi said he'd suggested during his conversation with Cindy Ball that she contact the Division of Child and Family Services and domestic violence advocates for help. If she ever made those phone calls is unknown, because she is unconscious in the intensive care unit of Washoe Medical Center.
"Chet and I were both devastated that this occurred," Aberasturi said. "It's just sad what those girls had to go through. You just feel sorry for the whole family."
Contact F.T. Norton at email@example.com or 881-1213.