Man charged in City Commissioner's death goes before judge

Joseph Julian
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He's accused of killing his friend by pinning him against a building with a truck. While the suspect told WKYT in an exclusive interview it was an accident.

Investigators testified today on why they believe it wasn't. Joseph Julian, 48, is charged with murder for the death of David Ballard, 51, a city commissioner from Jeffersonville.

Montgomery County Sheriff Deputy Sgt. Ralph Charles told a judge Julian told him three different stories about what happened two-weeks ago tomorrow (Friday) outside of Ballard's Camargo business.

"One variation is that the victim (Ballard) had come out, slammed his hands on the hood, startling him (Julian). He said that was as he was backing up his truck, and for some unknown reason he started going forward, then ran over the victim," Sgt. Charles told a judge.

The impact killed Ballard, a father of two, and longtime city commissioner. Sgt. Charles said when he arrived on scene Julian's behavior wasn't normal.

"He admitted to drinking a couple of beers and taking prescription medication," he said.

That admission also led Sgt. Charles to charge Julian with D-U-I. However he was never given a field sobriety test and according to Charles, the intoxilyzer at the Montgomery County Jail wasn't working properly that day, either.

"The charge came based on his own admission of drinking and taking narcotics," the Sergent explained.

Family and friends of David Ballard have told investigators Julian had been drinking more than normal lately and Ballard was preparing to evict him from an apartment in the rear of Ballard's barber shop.

"That's what we've been told, that the two were arguing just before Julian drove his truck into Ballard," said Charles.

Following the testimony, the judge found probable cause to send the case to a grand jury. He also declined a request by Julian's attorney to lower the 48-year-olds bond. Julian remains in the Montgomery County Jail on a $750,000 bond.

He is scheduled to be return to court next month.

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