Madison and Rankin Counties’ District Attorney John K. Bramlett, Jr., announced today Thomas Ray Ball, Jr., of Clinton, was sentenced to twenty-five years without the chance of early release or parole for the armed robbery of a Canton woman.
On September 18, 2017, a woman went to a Vicksburg Casino where she won a large jackpot of about $5,000. Without her knowledge, Thomas Ball Jr. and Sean Johnson, had been canvassing the casino for individuals that won large that night. When they saw her win the jackpot, Ball followed her to her car and followed her all the way back to Ridgeland. The woman stopped at a bank in Ridgeland to deposit some of her winnings. Ball approached Thomas while she was at the ATM, pulled a gun on her, and took her winnings.
The woman was able to drive away and saw a law enforcement officer at a nearby gas station where she stopped and asked for help. The Ridgeland Police Department began an investigation into the incident and were able to pull surveillance footage from both the casino and the bank that showed Ball watching the woman and confronting her at the bank. The Mississippi Analysis and Information Center, a division of the Mississippi Office of Homeland Security, assisted Ridgeland investigators by tracking the suspect’s cell phone tower location from the night in question . These records showed him at the casino, and then showed him following the woman all the way from Vicksburg to the bank in Ridgeland.
On August 19, 2019, Thomas Ball pled guilty to armed robbery and was sentenced to 25 years without the possibility of parole. His co-defendant, Sean Johnson pled guilty in May 2019 to conspiracy to commit armed robbery.
District Attorney Bramlett stated, “This is a stark reminder for people to constantly be aware of their surroundings and those who might be watching them to commit crimes of opportunity. Mr. Ball thought he saw an easy target when he saw a single woman leaving the casino late at night and followed her for over an hour with the sole purpose of robbing her a gunpoint. Thanks to the Ridgeland Police Department, the Mississippi Gaming Commission, and the Mississippi Analysis and Information Center for all of their hard work on bringing this man to justice.”
THOMAS RAY BALL, JR.