Accused killer given additional court dates
Abel Enriquez, 65, who was arrested in connection with the death of his 22-year-old neighbor, Anthony Ballentine, appeared in Saline County Circuit Court on Monday morning.
During the proceeding, Circuit Judge Grisham Phillips set two new court dates for the defendant.
On Sept. 4, Enriquez is scheduled for another bond hearing, and on Oct. 20 he is scheduled for plea and arraignment.
Days after his arrest, his bond was set at $500,000, but recently his attorney, Bobby Digby of Little Rock, filed a motion to reduce the bond.
"There is a material change in circumstance that would justify another bond hearing in this matter," wrote Digby in the motion.
During his first bond hearing, Detective Cpl. Gary Robertson testified about the case.
When deputies first received the call to respond, they believed a car accident had occurred near the residence since Enriquez called 911 saying there was a "crash" at his residence, Robertson said.
When deputies arrived at the scene, they found the victim's body lying on the kitchen floor.
According to police, Ballentine had been shot twice — once in the head and once in the groin.
People who live in the area told deputies they heard gunshots around 11:30 p.m. or midnight, but Enriquez did not call 911 to report the incident until around 5 a.m.
During the time he was on the phone with a dispatcher, Enriquez's story changed three times, Robertson said.
A .22-caliber handgun and ammunition matching the victim's injuries were recovered at the scene, he said.
During the hearing, Digby said Enriquez was intoxicated when deputies arrived at the residence. He also noted that Enriquez and the victim were friends .
According to a preliminary report from the state medical examiner's office, Ballentine's gunshot wounds could not have been self-inflicted, Robertson said.