The attorneys in the Major Crimes Unit represent over fifty years of combined prosecution & trial experience. This unit prosecutes homicides, serious assaults, vehicular assaults, dangerous and career criminals, home invasions, robberies, and dangerous drug offenses. The Major Crimes Unit attorneys are:
Russell Dempsey - First Assistant Prosecuting Attorney
Russell returned to the Greene County Prosecutor's Office in January 2005 after working for the City of Branson's law departments for two years. He received his undergraduate degree in 1999 from Central Missouri State University with a major in Criminal Justice and a minor in Psychology. Russell received his Juris Doctorate from Washburn University School of Law where he graduated with Dean's Honors. Upon graduation from law school in 2002, Russell began working for the Greene County Prosecutor's Office. While in the Prosecutor's Office, Russell has been a member of the Traffic Unit (now General Crimes), the Person's Unit, and the Major Crimes Unit. Russell has extensive training and jury trial experience in the prosecution of violent crimes. In January of 2011, he was promoted to be the First Assistant of the Major Crime Unit.
In additional to his official duties, Russell is an instructor at the Springfield Police Academy as a POST certified instructor. Russell is currently a member of the Task Force on Gangs and Youth Violence and a former member of the Child Fatality Review Board.
Clayton Ballard - Senior Assistant Prosecuting Attorney
Clayton joined the Greene County Prosecutor's Office in August of 2008. In 2004, he graduated Summa Cum Laude with undergraduate degrees from Missouri Southern State University, in Joplin, Missouri, majoring in Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement. Clayton received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Missouri School of Law in May of 2008. While in law school, Clayton was the Associate Managing Editor of the Journal of Dispute Resolution. He also represented the law school at the Regional Mock Trial competition. When he began working as an Assistant Greene County Prosecutor, he initially worked in the General Crimes Unit. In the fall of 2010, Clayton was assigned to the Major Crimes Unit to handle felony drug possession cases and the specialty courts.
Ben McBride - Senior Assistant Prosecuting Attorney
Ben initially joined the Greene County Prosecutor's Office in November of 2008. In early 2012 Ben had a brief time out of the office, but returned in August of 2012 as a Senior Assistant overseeing the drug prosecutions. Ben is a Springfield native and graduate of Springfield Catholic High School. Ben received his undergraduate degree from Oklahoma City University majoring in History and Political science. He graduated from Oklahoma City University School of Law with his Juris Doctorate in 2006 where he was a member of the Moot Court Society and a trial advocacy team. Ben has experience in private practice as well as working in the General Crimes Unit with an emphasis on financial crimes. In addition to his official duties, Ben is a past office holder of the Springfield Jaycees.