SALEM - A 24-year-old Salem man accused of stabbing his mother multiple times after an argument Jan. 12 has been charged with felonious assault and jailed, pending a court appearance today.
Derek Ball, whose last known address was listed as Home Circle, arrived at the Salem police station Wednesday afternoon in a hospital gown and pants, wearing a belt hooked to a handcuff around one wrist and shackles on his ankles. His other arm was heavily wrapped in bandages.
"I'm glad we finally have him in custody. It's been a long road with him being hospitalized," Police Chief J.T. Panezott said.
He offered his thanks to the Humility of Mary Health Partners security for its assistance in keeping an eye on Ball and letting Salem police know when he would be released. A police hold had been placed on him although he wasn't in custody while he was hospitalized.
"Our officers were there to greet him upon his release," Panezott said.
Salem police had been called at 7:49 p.m. Jan. 12, which was a Sunday night, for a reported stabbing in the 900 block of Home Circle. Upon their arrival, they found the victim, 43-year-old Josee Wilson, at a neighbor's residence where she had gone after the attack.
According to an affidavit, she told police that her son had stabbed her, and was trying to kill' her.
She had "suffered numerous incisive/stab wounds about the head and upper torso," the document said. She has since been released from the hospital.
Ball fled before police arrived, but was found an hour later behind a neighboring residence near the 800 block of South Lincoln Avenue after police followed a blood trail. At the time, the chief said he was going in and out of consciousness and suffered from what appeared to be self-inflicted incisive wounds to both arms. He was taken to Salem Regional Medical Center and then transferred to St. Elizabeth Health Center.
He had a knife with him when he was found.
The initial report said there had been an argument between mother and son, who sometimes stayed there with his mother and sister. Panezott wouldn't say what was learned when police spoke to Ball, but did say "we believe there was a drug problem involved in this. We believe he had a heroin problem."
He explained that the reason Ball wasn't charged until now was because of the cost the city would have incurred from having to guard him and the knowledge that he wasn't going anywhere while hospitalized. A hold was placed on him and the hospital had its own police force watching him. The hospital police personnel kept in contact with Salem investigators.
If Ball had been placed under arrest in the city's custody, Panezott said he would have had to post two Salem police officers to guard him 24 hours a day at a large cost to the city in overtime while he was in the hospital.
"We also might have been stuck with the medical costs," he said.
Ball is scheduled for an appearance in county Municipal Court today