Judge lowers $5 million bond for Romeoville murder suspect

A judge cut the bond in half for a Romeoville man who has been charged with first-degree murder.

Mark Ballard, 47, has been held in the Will County jail since Aug. 11, 2014, after he and his then-teenage son Adam Ballard were arrested on charges that allege the two fatally struck 55-year-old Richard Pollack in the head with a baseball bat.

Since then, Adam Ballard, now 20, has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder for his role in Pollack’s death. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison but only had to serve half of his sentence. Adam Ballard also received credit for the four and half years he spent in jail and was released just months after pleading. He has been on parole since June 7, according to state prison records.

On July 3, Will County Judge Amy Bertani-Tomczak granted a motion from Mark Ballard’s attorney, Timothy Specht, to reduce his client’s $5 million bond.

Mark Ballard’s bond was reduced to $2.5 million, according to court records. He needs to post $250,000 for his release.

Specht argued in court filings June 26 that his client’s $5 million bond should be reduced because evidence presented at his son’s bench trial in March indicated he did not personally strike Pollack in the head with a baseball bat.

“Additionally, evidence at co-defendant’s trial clearly [established] that at least two individuals at the Pollack’s home, Richard and Tyler Pollack, were armed with baseball bats at the time of the incident, which indicates a viable self-defense claim on the part of the Ballards,” Specht argued in court.

His next court hearing is Aug. 5.

Felix Sarver

Felix Sarver covers crime and courts for The Herald-News