Albany police make arrest in fatal stabbing

Leslie Ballard

Police arrested Leslie Ballard, 33, in connection with a stabbing that took place at 10:42 p.m. on Saturday at 326 Cherry Ave.

Police say at Ballard and Antoine Hartsfield, 41, got into an argument over a family matter, and at some point, Ballard obtained a stainless steel kitchen knife and stabbed Hartsfield in the upper chest. Hartsfield died from the resulting injury.

According to the family violence incident report, children were present during the incident. Dougherty Judicial Circuit District Attorney Greg Edwards says the Department of Family and Child Services made arrangements for the children. He said some belonged to the victim and some belonged to the suspect.

The family violence report also says an investigation did indicate that substance abuse played a role and that the substance was alcohol.

FOX 31 spoke with the brother of Ballard and he says their mother was also inside the home when the stabbing occurred.

District Attorney Greg Edwards confirms the grandmother of the children was there and she was questioned as a part of the investigation. Lamont Gary, the older brother of Leslie Ballard, said his mother and the children went to stay in Americus, Georgia with family members.

The Albany Police Department is charging Ballard with Felony Murder, Aggravated Assault and four counts of Possession of a Knife during the Commission of Crime Cruelty to Children (Third Degree).

District Attorney Edwards says her bond will be left up to a higher court.

"As soon as this person has an opportunity to be presented to a superior court judge, bond can be considered and it would be up to a higher judge to review that," says D.A. Greg Edwards.

He says after a review of the case, it will then be presented to the grand jury.

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