Murder Trial Delayed, Assault Case Slated

Man faces unrelated trials for death of daughter, assault on former girlfriend

Gasoa Balas

Gasoa Balas

Advertisement

The trial for a man accused of killing his daughter in a rollover accident south of town last year has been pushed back again.

Gasoa Balas, who goes by Josh, was set to stand trial in September, but a judge recently agreed to a three-month delay to give Balas’ defense attorney time to defend another man charged with murder in Graham County.

Balas faces seven felony charges, including second-degree murder, child abuse, DUI and assaulting an officer for the Aug. 1, 2012 rollover that killed his 7-year-old daughter, Calandra.

Balas was reportedly trying to avoid arrest after allegedly assaulting a woman in a Payson trailer park when he rolled his car near Corvair Curve, according to police. Balas, who was buckled in, walked away from the accident with only minor injuries. However, his daughter, who was not wearing a seat belt, was thrown from a back window. The new trial date for the case is Dec. 4.

Meanwhile, the Gila County Attorney’s Office plans to go ahead with another case against Balas on Sept. 18.

Balas is charged with aggravated assault/domestic violence after reportedly assaulting his then-girlfriend in August of 2011.

Initially, the GCAO declined to prosecute the case because Balas’ girlfriend did not want to press charges. When Shawn Fuller joined the office earlier this year, he reviewed the case and decided to prosecute with or without the woman’s cooperation.

“It is not up to the victim if we are going to prosecute,” he said. “To a certain extent, it helps to have their cooperation,” but we can also use their initial statements to police and other evidence to support the case.”

Fuller expects the victim in the case will take the witness stand.

Comments

Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Requires free registration

Posting comments requires a free account and verification.