Burnet capital murder suspect released on $500,000 bond

FROM STAFF REPORTS

BURNET — County records show 21-year-old Garrett James Ballard, who faces a capital murder of multiple persons charge for allegedly gunning down two of his friends, was released from the Burnet County Jail on Dec. 8 on a $500,000 surety bond.

Burnet County investigators have charged Ballard for allegedly murdering Elijah Adam Benson, 17, and Travis Leslie Fox, 26, on Aug. 19 after the three reportedly used hallucinogenic drugs, according to an arrest warrant affidavit.

Deputies arrested Ballard on Aug. 19 and booked him into the Burnet County Jail, where he’s been since that date without bond until Oct. 7.

A judge had initially set a $2 million bond on that date, according to jail records.

The $500,000 amount did not list a bond agency.

According to the arrest warrant affidavit, Ballard told investigators he and the two other individuals had purchased some “acid” from another acquaintance and returned to his parent’s residence in the 5800 block of CR 340 to celebrate one of the men’s birthdays.

But sometime during the celebration, Ballard told investigators the two alleged victims began demonstrating “strange and disruptive behaviors.” At some point, Ballard obtained a rifle from his father’s vehicle and shot the other two men, the affidavit stated.

Ballard’s father is Burnet County Precinct 3 Constable Jimmy Ballard. The constable was not home at the time of the incident.

Capital murder case punishments range from life without parole to the death penalty with a conviction. 33rd/424th Judicial District Attorney Sonny McAfee said he did not expect to seek the death penalty.

editor@thepicayune.com

29 thoughts on “Burnet capital murder suspect released on $500,000 bond

  1. Wow that makes a real loud statement against those who murder others. Wonder what the parents of the deceased guys think about this??

    1. Not the first one that has been released here in burnet county…yet she isn’t out shooting up the streets. I can guarantee you that the results of this young man were only because of the acid trip. Note***all three were on acid. All three are guilty of doing something that they shouldn’t have been doing. And what does this say about the so called kids that are in church every time the doors open… This is what drugs do to people….good people. I feel so sorry for all the families here. All of the families have lost their children…one way or another.

  2. I do not believe anyone should be saying those things on this page . You do not know who reads this stuff. Garrett was not a bad person. People make bad decisions and they suffer thru those. These men were all really close friends and Garrett shouldn’t be called a drug addict and murder because of this mistake he made in his life. #onlygodcanjudge.

    1. “Garrett shouldn’t be called a drug addict and murder because of this mistake he made”

      Even though he was using drugs and murdered TWO people.

  3. You can certainly tell what the Burnet County Judicial system thinks about the safety of the citizens that elected them. Guess they’re all brother-in-laws when elected.

      1. He is a major flight risk, confessed murderer and possibly facing the death sentence. He has a dad and brother in law enforcement with the knowledge and connections to help someone disappear. And now he has been set free to roam.

        1. What facts do you have that he is a flight risk? I don’t know him and won’t just presume that. Hee is NOT facing a death sentence – the DA has already taken that off the table as well he should have.

          Free to roam? Do you know what his bond conditions are? Does he have a GPS monitor on?

          Have you considered the possibility of a self-defense issue? Nobody but Garrett knows what happened that night and unless convicted, he is presumed innocent. You would want that presumption if suddenly you had “defendant” printed after your name.

          With few exceptions everyone is entitled to a reasonable bond. This case is not one of those exceptions.

          I resent your slamming the entire judicial system with your uneducated remarks.

          1. Mr. Jones,

            My facts come from the news services, which state he confessed to killing two individuals, because they were acting strange. He gained possession of the keys to a Burnet County Constable vehicle (which gave him the opportunity to escape, if he feared for his life and access to instant communication to Burnet County law enforcement, for help).

            If he had the opportunity to remove himself from harm, but decided to stay, the question of Premeditated Murder comes into question.

            GPS monitoring has already had several instances of being removed or the device rendered ineffective.

            You are most certainly correct, he is the only LIVING witness to what happened that night.

            As I recall, you used to be a part of the judicial system that has be under sever scrutiny the last several years in Texas.

            Thank you for giving me the opportunity to clarify my statements.

          2. It would be interesting to see if a self defense plea could be pulled off.. IMO The best Possible way that might happen is if there were security cameras filming the premises. Could there be footage? Does the DA know if any exist?

    1. Maybe his relatives would have us give him a college scholarship too. Under Texas law, he deserves life in prison. We elected Sonny McAfee to prosecute criminals that are responsible for far less than cold-blooded murder. I cannot imagine that Sonny will cut a deal with this guy because his father is a constable. I was doing drugs is NO excuse for criminal behavior.
      By the way, his father leaves his police car and all the weapons inside it at the house almost all of the time because he is out running and working at his electrical contracting company rather than doing the job he was elected to do.

  4. Well, I would love to use the word unbelievable, but the words corrupt and unjust seem more fitting.

  5. So sad that y’all are so damn uneducated. Stop running your mouths about things you know nothing about. So typical in this town.

  6. None of u seem to know the three that this happened to my brother was close to all of them expecially Eli and Garrett and he in his right state would never harm Eli or Travis . They were good kids and very talented a wrong choice was made that night and ended with lives lost . Your no one to judge !

  7. I still want to know why it is okay for a constable to leave
    a civilian in charge of his assault rifle (since that is precisely what a 223 Bushmaster is). If the keys to his car had been secured in his pocket it is quite probable that his son would not be facing capital murder charges and two young men would not be dead. I want this issue to be addressed.

    1. Almost all officers leave their patrol rifles secured in their vehicles when off duty. The vehicle was secured at the officer’s home, behind a gate, and the end of a long driveway where it is not visible from the road. How can you expect the officer to foresee that his adult son would use the keys (which were secured in the officer’s residence) to take the rifle? This is clearly a tragic incident, but blaming the officer in this case is not justified.

  8. Some facts here:He said him and his friends were on acid.
    He went out to retrieve a gun.If he was fearing for his life he could called the police or ran off,because he did say the other two were following him or threatening his life.
    The tattoos on the face is gang symbols.
    For you people that say don’t judge. I don’t have to because he what he sad in his statement shows he’s guilty.

  9. I read the Sheriff’s affidavit and I have lots of questions for Garrett, but I’m not the prosecutor or the family’s lawyer and I’m certainly not the person to place judgment. With that said, I know the family of Travis and I never saw Travis as anyone but a fine young man who was kind and respectable to those he encountered. I didn’t know the other two young men so I could only hope they were of the same mentality as Travis since they were his friends. The fact that they all participated in taking a very dangerous drug is extremely sad and I pray and hope their peers will take note of just how dangerous consumption of any illegal drug can be. I feel for all the families involved and I guarantee you none of them are enjoying the holidays this year like they may have in the past. Let’s keep all of them in our prayers.

  10. And maybee we still live in a perfe t world?? Were justice and order are dealt by those who allegedly are there to protect and serve, only protect each other from prosecution. Good person or not this is someone who said in an affidavit that he repeatedly shot two of his freinds. The reason that he has received such leniency is of fact because of his families positions in the justice system .its time the feds invsetigated the entire county unless it goes that high too!!

    1. I agree that it is hard to stay cool when you see a self confessed double murder suspect released on a bond 1/4 of the original one of 2 mil set by state District Judge Allen Garrett on wed, Oct 8 2014. However the legal decision of the state trial turns out a life imprisionment or unlikely death sentence nothing can take away the anguish and pain that us family members of Travis Fox and and also those of Elijah Benson face every day of our lives.

  11. OK so, this guy garret whose father the patrolman has yet to make any statement as to how his service weapon was removed from his vehicle was re-elected. Topping that off his son who committed murder is supposed to be on a tracking monitor and restricted is at the store with friends planning a party for the weekend. Somehow seems to me that the justice system has failed the victims family. This whole matter appears to have been hushed up. It seems to me that a reply from the Burnet justice system would be long overdue but none the less welcome at this point.

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