Press-Republican

November 30, 2013

Autopsy results confirm homicide

Coroner also said Ward Guy Wilbur died of stab wounds

By SUZANNE MOORE, News Editor AND FELICIA KRIEG
Press-Republican

---- — SARANAC LAKE — Ward Guy Wilbur died of stab wounds.

As well, said Franklin County Coroner Ronald B. Keough, “the manner of death is homicide.”

He could release no further information on the autopsy performed Tuesday on the Lake Placid man, who was found dead in a Saranac Lake apartment on Monday, Nov. 25.

Angela Ball, 29, is charged with second-degree murder.

She and her attorney waived the preliminary hearing that had been set for 1 p.m. Friday in Saranac Lake Village Court, according to Franklin County District Attorney Derek Champagne.

At that court appearance, he said, “I would have had to present reasonable cause to believe a crime was committed.”

CLOCKS TICKING

Now, he has 45 days from Ball’s arrest date, Nov. 25, to present the case to a grand jury.

Franklin County Public Defender Thomas Soucia and Ball can also waive that 45-day requirement since she is incarcerated, Champagne said.

But he, also, would have to agree to that. If he did, Ball would be released on her own recognizance, the DA explained, and he would not allow that to happen.

Ball had been taken to Franklin County Jail without bail after her arraignment on the night of the homicide.

“My past practices in cases of this severity have been to make sure to keep all my actions within the appropriate statutory guidelines,” he said.

A third clock ticking now, Champagne added, counts down the days he is allowed to bring the case to a grand jury.

He has six months to do so, he said.

‘ADDITIONAL LEADS’

The investigation into the homicide is continuing, the DA said, with Saranac Village Police conducting it with assistance of State Police.

“They are following additional leads,” he said.

Pennsylvania State Police have also contributed to the effort, as Ball had lived in that state.

“Because she was originally from Pennsylvania, we had no real background on her,” Champagne said.

It is standard procedure to involve law enforcement from an area where a suspect had previously resided, he said, to gather information to create a full profile of the person.

Ball, herself, called 911 the day of the murder, reporting a “possible assault” at her apartment at 19 Morris Way.

She was arrested without incident, and both a knife and baseball bat were seized from the unit.

Ball and Wilbur had dated for about a year then remained friends, police said earlier.

The Saranac Lake Police Department released no new information on the homicide investigation Friday.

YOUTUBE VIDEOS

Ball has a YouTube channel on which she posted two videos on Feb. 9 and 13 of this year. In them, she describes details she sees in a painting that she had executed.

The work, called “Time Release,” depicts a brown farmhouse in a country landscape near a river in what Ball said was her hometown of Media, Pa.

At the beginning of the first video, Ball starts to describe her artwork then says, “We’re going to have to start over. I can’t be stoned doing this. I can’t do it high.”

A male voice says, “Just do it.”

‘MOLESTED AS A CHILD’

“Originally, I painted this painting to put my childhood past behind me,” Ball says in the video. “I painted myself where I was molested as a child in this mail truck.”

After finishing the painting, she said, “I went back to look at it ... and, man, did my mind get molested.”

She describes in great detail images she says she discovered in the painting, including George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, as well as a Mother Theresa-like figure delivering babies from one of the several cows she had painted in the pasture.

Ball also points out, at a distance from the camera that is recording her presentation, an “angel lady” playing music near hundreds of skeletons, aliens and wizards.

“It’s kind of spooky,” she says. “It’s a phenomenon situation. It’s unexplainable.

“I’ve shown this to people, and they’re seeing what I’m seeing, so I’m not looking too far.”

‘CAMERA NOT DOING JUSTICE’

As Ball brings the painting close to the camera, the brown roof of the farmhouse seems to include none of the images she described.

“The camera isn’t doing justice ... as I would expect,” she says.

“Sometimes it really looks like you’re looking at a live image,” she also says, explaining how she has “locked eyes” with some of the figures in her painting.

‘PAINTING CHANGES’

“Another strange thing about this painting is that it changes,” Ball says at one point.

She said she examined the piece with a magnifying glass to uncover new imagery.

“I could just look at this for hours and hours,” she said.

Ball said she believes in the paranormal and thinks it had some influence on her painting.

“(It’s) very supernatural. I have no words to describe how the painting ended up this way.

“It’s really kind of shaking. It gives you the chills.”

Email Suzanne Moore:smoore@pressrepublican.com