Bail set for North Syracuse teacher accused of murdering his brother-in-law

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) - Bail has been set for a North Syracuse Central School District teacher accused of murdering his brother-in-law during what investigators describe as a drunken dispute.

55-year-old James Ball of Cicero is charged with second-degree murder in connection with the death of 40-year-old Christopher Ross.

A judge ordered that Ball remain jailed in lieu of $150,000 cash bail or bond.

His attorneys pointed out that Ball has been a fourth-grade teacher for 14 years, with no prior convictions, and that he was honorably discharged from the U.S. Navy.

In addition, they noted that he still has a black eye from the incident with Ross, which affects his abilities behind bars.

Prosecutors noted that Ball stepped away from the fight to load his gun, and then fired four times at close range.

The Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office responded to the scene on Chinkapin Circle in Cicero early in the morning on the Fourth of July.

They say Ross was suffering from life-threatening injuries when they arrived at the scene.

He died a short time after the shooting.

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