The Commission on Capital Cases was not funded in the FY 2011-2012 General Appropriations Act, and the Commission ceased operations on June 30, 2011. This site and the Commission website are being retained to provide access to historical materials.

The Registry Attorneys will be continued by the Justice Administration Commission.

These actions are effective July 1, 2011.

Disclaimer: The Commission on Capital Cases receives this information from a variety of sources. The site will be updated consistently as information is received and will be audited bi-annually. We make every attempt to ensure the accuracy of the information provided; however, the information should be verified by the applicable court prior to using it for legal or statistical purposes.


Last NameFirst NamePictureDC NumberAgencyCase Summary
BallardJohn 181741 Case Summary

Last Action

DateCourtCase NumberLast Action
2/24/2006  Released

Current Attorney


Last Updated

2008-01-09 11:43:13.0

Case Summary
Direct Links

The Commission on Capital Cases updates this information regularly

BALLARD, John R. (W/M)

DC#    181741

DOB: 09/03/68


­­­Twentieth Judicial Circuit, Collier County Case # 01-1353

Sentencing Judge: The Honorable Lauren Brodie

Attorney, Trial: Michael Orlando & Joe Rineila –Assistant Public Defenders

Attorney, Direct Appeal: Paul Helm – Assistant PublicDefender


Date of Offense:         03/07/99

Date of Sentence:       05/23/03


Circumstances of Offense:


Jennifer Jones and Willie Patin lived in an apartmenttogether, and were planning to move to Texas on Monday, March 8, 1999.  Friendsof Jones and Patin noted that John Ballard was an acquaintance of Jones andPatin, and he was frequently a guest in the apartment several times prior toand also including the weekend prior to March 8th.  It was wellknown that Jones sold marijuana out of the apartment and considerable sums ofmoney were typically present in several locations in the apartment.


Ariana Harralambus, a friend of Jones and Patin tried tocontact the couple on March 8th, but was unsuccessful.  She wasconcerned and called Jones’ father to help her investigate.  They gained accessto the apartment by prying the sliding glass door open and discovered Jones’body in the master bedroom and Patin’s body in the spare bedroom. 


Forensic technicians lifted several fingerprints from thebed frame and several hairs were found clutched in the hands of both Jones andPatin.  Both Jones and Patin died of blunt force trauma to the head.    


Subsequent to themurders, law enforcement personnel questioned Jones and Patin’s acquaintances,including Ballard.  Forensic analysis determined that the fingerprints found onthe bed frame belonged to Ballard, and the hairs found in the victims’ handswere consistent with the hair of Ballard. Ballard hypothesized that Jones andPatin were robbed and killed by others who knew about the money that wasfrequently kept in the apartment.  Ballard also told investigators that hewitnessed a drive-by shooting.  During the week prior to the murders, severalshots were fired into the apartment’s windows.    



Prior Incarceration History in the State of Florida:


Offense Date


Sentence Date


Case No.

Prison Sentence Length






6Y 0M 0D






6Y 0M 0D






6Y 0M 0D






6Y 0M 0D



Trial Summary:


06/14/01          Indictedas follows:

                                    CountI:           First-Degree Murder (Jennifer Jones)

                                    CountII:         First-Degree Murder (Willie Patin)

                                    CountIII:        Armed Robbery

04/04/03          Juryreturned guilty verdicts on all counts of the indictment

04/11/03          Juryrecommended death by a vote of 9-3

05/23/03          Sentencedas follows:

                                    CountI:           First-Degree Murder (Jennifer Jones) – Death

                                    CountII:         First-Degree Murder (Willie Patin) – Death

                                    CountIII:        Armed Robbery – 15 Years



Appeal Summary:


Florida Supreme Court – Direct Appeal

FSC# 03-1012

923 So.2d 475


06/06/03          DirectAppeal filed

02/23/06          FSCreversed convictions and vacated sentences

02/24/06          Mandateissued



Case Information:


On 06/06/03, Ballardfiled a Direct Appeal with the Florida Supreme Court, citing the followingerrors: failing to prove the charges, failing to find a discovery violationregarding the fingerprint comparison chart, finding that the defense failed toprove the mitigating factors of brain damage and impaired capacity, and failingto have aggravating circumstances determined by the jury. On 02/23/06, the FSCreversed the convictions, vacated the sentences, and remanded to the CircuitCourt for a judgment of acquittal.  The FSC determined that the evidencepresented at trial, specifically the fingerprints and hairs, were legallyinsufficient to support the convictions. 



Law Enforcement / Prosecution Statements:


Ina statement to the St. Petersburg Times, Assistant State Attorney MichaelProvost still thinks Ballard was guilty of murder:

I don't want to make it sound like sour grapes, but wethought we had enough evidence to convict and the jury did, too.  There was onehair you could identify in that whole apartment and it happened to be John Ballard's and it happened to show upin her hand.  I don't think that's probable unless he's a really unlucky guy.Same with the fingerprint.


Ina statement to the Naples Daily News, Provost said, "We certainly knewthat it was a close case going in.  I'm disappointed, mostly for the victims'families.”



Defense Statement:


Ina statement to the St. Petersburg Times, Assistant Public Defender MichaelOrlando says that Ballard was a victim of pressure:


“You'redealing with the intensity of the courtroom in this particular case.  All thesethings tend to put a lot of pressure on jurors."



Current Status:


On 02/24/06, Ballard wasreleased from Union Correctional Institution. 


CollierCounty Sheriff's Office officials have said Ballard is the primary suspect inthe November and December 1999 slayings of Glenn Soos, Ballard’s brother-in-law,and Allie Walsh, who had been his sister's roommate.  Detectives consider bothcases to be open and active.



Report Date:   08/07/06          JFL