The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

October 26, 2012

Joplin man sentenced to 30 years in 2011 murder

Gerald Brown pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in death of girlfriend’s mother

From staff reports

NEOSHO, Mo. — Gerald L. Brown, of Joplin, was  sentenced Friday to 30 years in prison for the Dec. 13, 2011, murder of 63-year-old Alicia Ball.

Brown, 41, pleaded guilty in Newton County court to second-degree murder and armed criminal action in the slaying of the woman who then was the mother of his girlfriend and the grandmother of their 2-year-old daughter. He originally had been charged with first-degree murder and armed criminal action.

Ball’s body was found dead on a bed inside her home at 3222 Garrison Ave.. Alicia Ball had died of blunt-force trauma to her head. Her daughter, Myra Ball, had called police to request a well-being check when she couldn’t reach her.

A probable-cause affidavit at the time the charges were filed say Brown struck Alicia Ball three times on the head with a vase and a brick wrapped in a pillow case and towels.

Brown had lived in the house with Alicia Ball and her daughter until the week before Ball’s death, when he was asked to move.  Alicia ball had filed a complaint with Joplin police on Dec. 8, 2011, alleging that Brown had taken her debit card to deprive her of around $1,200.

The evidence against Brown included video footage of him walking toward Alicia Ball’s house on the day she was killed and walking away from the house nearly two hours later. There also was video footage of Brown buying laundry detergent, bleach, paper towels and body wash at a Dollar General store on the day of the murder.

Newton County Prosecuting Attorney Jake Skouby prosecuted the case.