TF man sentenced following violations
July 8, 2021
Jeffrey Ball of Thompson Falls appeared in 20th District Judicial Court on Tuesday to argue against a petition to revoke his suspended sentence due to several violations. His attorney, Kirk Krutilla, mentioned to Judge Deborah “Kim” Christopher that their intention was not so much to fight against the violations as to ask for a chance to improve. They asked for a release prior to sentencing for two months to give Ball a chance to prove improvement.
Ball was sentenced for this case in March 2016 for driving under the influence. After asking for the release, Ball then admitted to having been drinking in October of 2020, and several times in early 2021. He also admitted to having difficulty checking in with his probation officer, Lynn Bierwagen. According to Sanders County Attorney Naomi Leisz, Ball had more than difficulties keeping in contact. After calling Beirwagen as a witness, it was determined that Ball had numerous violations. One of these was in February, where he tested positive for alcohol. Another mentioned was in April, where Ball did not notify probation that he moved residences. There was also a question as to his statement that he had not been operating a motor vehicle.
According to Judge Christopher, Ball has numerous prior driving under the influence convictions, going as far back as 21 years. “At seven DUIs, that’s a risk the court is unwilling to make,” said Christopher, regarding Ball’s request for release prior to sentencing. “Your addiction has conquered you,” added Christopher. Ball was sentenced to five years in the Department of Corrections, and the judge requested that all efforts be made to get Ball treatment.