|Gerald L. Brown (mug shot MDOC)|
Authorities in Joplin have made an arrest in the murder of a Joplin grandmother who was babysitting when she was killed.
About eleven Tuesday (12-13-11) morning authorities were called to the home of 63 year-old Alicia D. Ball at 3222 S. Garrison to check the well being of the woman. When officers arrived, they found the back door kicked in, Ball bludgeoned to death in her bed and her two year-old granddaughter unharmed.
Lt. Brian Lewis says first-degree murder charges were filed against Gerald L. Brown, 40, of Joplin, who is the two year-old little girls father.
Newton County prosecutor Jake Skouby says Brown allegedly used a vase hidden inside a towel as a "swinging weapon" to incapacitate Ball before beating her to death with a brick.
According to the probable cause statement, Ball's daughter Myra, 31, left for work around 7 a.m. and then called police about 10:30 when she was unable to reach her mother by phone.
|Alicia Ball was found dead inside this house (courtesy KZRG)|
Video cameras caught Brown driving near the dead woman's home about 8:30 a.m. and witnesses told investigators they saw the mans vehicle parked near Ball's home that morning. Video surveillance show Brown walking near Ball's home about 8:49 a.m. and show him returning to his truck about 10:38 that morning. Brown allegedly admitted to investigators that he is the man seen walking near the residence that morning.
Brown was captured on video purchasing laundry detergent, bleach, paper towels and body wash after Ball was murdered. His roommates told investigators that Brown went to his home at 412 W. 3rd and washed "all of the clothing, including the boots" that he had been wearing with the exception of his coat.
A stain, consistent with blood, field tested positive to the presence of blood on the left sleeve of Brown's jacket, according to court records. Luminol tests in the bathroom of Brown's home revealed a "large amount of blood and hand prints in blood in and on the sink. Drops of blood were also found in the bathtub."
Brown, who is originally from the Kansas City area, lived with Myra Ball, their child and Alicia Ball until last week when the grandmother discovered money and a debit card missing from her purse and asked Brown to leave.
Myra Ball had gone to court to seek an order of protection against Brown....that order had not been served at the time of Alicia Ball's murder.
Skouby has filed first-degree murder and armed criminal action charges against Brown, who is being held without bond on a probation violation, in the Jasper County jail.