Judge Releases Homicide Defendant For Drug Treatment

Thank you for reading D.C. Witness. Help us continue our mission into 2024.

Donate Now

On Sept. 18, DC Superior Court Judge Rainey Brandt granted a homicide defendant’s request for release into an in-patient drug treatment program. 

Joseph Ballard, 59, is charged with second-degree murder while armed for his alleged involvement in the fatal stabbing of 33-year-old Monte Daniels on July 28 on the 1600 block of Benning Road, NE. 

Prosecutors continuously opposed the request, stating that Ballard has five prior violent crime convictions, which Judge Brandt argued are outdated and were caused by Ballard being on a drug bender. 

Judge Brandt granted the defense’s request, and ordered Ballard be placed in a 60 day in-patient treatment program with a requirement of an intensive out-patient treatment program once he completed the in-person treatment. Once released from the treatment facility, Ballard is expected to take a drug test once a week with the Pretrial Services Agency (PSA). 

“This is your one and only chance. If you fail, I’m going to have to lock you up at the jail,” Judge Brandt said. 

During a preliminary hearing on Sept. 1, Judge Brandt denied the defense’s request for release, arguing that the defense needed to submit a comprehensive treatment plan that she could review before granting the request. 

Parties are expected to reconvene on Dec. 4. 

Follow this case