Much like after Tuesday’s verdict, Commonwealth’s Attorney Richie Bottoms said Wednesday he was satisfied with the jury’s sentence recommendation.
“You have to respect the judgment of the citizens of this community,” he said.
Jury asked to remember "the violence"
Before they retired for sentencing, Bottoms asked jurors to remember the loss of Isabel Hall’s life “and the violence involved in that. Think of the evidence you heard in the case that caused you to reach your decision.” He said he would be satisfied with “whatever you think is a fair decision.”
In his summation, Romines asked jurors who might have wavered during their deliberations Tuesday night between not guilty and reckless homicide, or between reckless homicide and manslaughter, to reconcile that doubt with a sentence on the low end of the spectrum.
Romines also called Casey Parsons to the stand. Parsons is a counselor at Spectrum Academy in London, a facility that treats teenage boys with mental disorders. Hall’s oldest son, David, 17, has been at Spectrum since April, she said.
Sons David and Matthew Hall, both adopted, have been in state custody since their mother’s death and their father’s imprisonment on May 29, 2009. David Hall moved from a group home to Spectrum and has achieved “role model status” in his short time there and will soon graduate from the program.
Parsons said David Hall’s options after leaving are “very limited” and he currently has no place to go.
Jurors listened to six days of testimony and deliberated for about 11 hours Tuesday before convicting Hall of manslaughter for running over and killing Isabel Hall with a pontoon boat on Herrington Lake last May, as the couple were celebrating their wedding anniversary.
Will start appeal immediately
Despite the outcome, Romines described the proceedings as “a very good and interesting case.” He said he will file a notice of appeal as soon as the court record in the matter has been certified.
Romines said he will appeal because he believes his client is not guilty and also in hopes of gaining an acquittal at a new trial, which would allow Hall, a Harrodsburg physician, to continue practicing medicine.
The Louisville attorney said he has grounds for appeal on three flawed rulings Judge Peckler made before and during the trial.
Peckler denied Hall’s motion for a change of venue, despite media coverage of the case and a survey paid for by the defense that showed 90 percent of the 400 potential Boyle County jurors interviewed were familiar with the case, and nearly 60 percent of those were leaning toward Hall being guilty.
Romines also said Peckler erred when he failed to grant Romines’ pretrial motion to make Bottoms declare if he intended to prove intentional murder or wanton murder during the trial.
By allowing Bottoms to argue both during the trial, it allowed him to bring in testimony about Lori Divine, on the grounds that Hall’s love for Divine is what drove him to intentionally murder his wife.
While Bottoms did call Divine as one of his first witnesses, and her name popped up throughout the trial, he did not mention her in his closing arguments, Romines said, suggesting that Bottoms never really intended to prove intentional murder but just wanted to get Hall’s love interest out there before the jury. Her testimony was prejudicial and should never have been allowed, Romines said.
Third, Peckler did not allow Romines to call his last intended witness to take the stand. Romines planned to fly in an expert from California to testify about the Reed Technique of interrogating witnesses that Detective Bill Collins used, to some degree, when questioning Hall in the aftermath of his wife’s death.
The expert would have testified that even though Collins denied it on the stand, he used eight of the nine steps of the Reed Technique in interrogating Hall; the only one he didn’t use was “get a written confession,” Romines said.
The expert would have testified that it is unethical to use such interviewing tactics on an emotionally fragile suspect and that it should only be used when an officer is certain of guilt and trying to extract a confession.
Romines said the judge decided late on Monday afternoon that the witness would not be allowed, and he isn’t sure on what Peckler based the ruling.