Jury unable to form decision on Hall trial

Published 7:00 am Thursday, April 17, 2014

The murder trial of Gary Hall ended Tuesday night in the 15th Circuit Court in Poplarville after the jury was unable to come to a decision.

Hall’s attorney built a case based on self-defense during Tuesday’s court proceedings, while the prosecution presented testimony from a forensic pathologist that would suggest the shooting death of William Graham was not self-defense.

Hall was on trial for the November 2011 shooting death of William Graham. Court testimony revealed Hall, a resident of the Catahoula community in Hancock County, was at a Pearl River County woman’s home when another man, Graham, arrived to find the two in bed together. A fight ensued, leading to Graham being shot by Hall.

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Tuesday was the second and last day of the trial.

During the trial, the prosecution presented evidence to show the deceased was shot while in what appeared to be a non-aggressive stance. Forensic Pathologist Erin Barnhart said the wound to Graham’s left arm shows that Graham’s arm was at his side when he was shot. Barnhart said Graham also suffered a bullet wound to his chest, which struck his aorta, causing death in less than a minute.

Hall testified Tuesday to share his side of the story. In his testimony he described a 10-year on and off relationship with a woman who would later claim to birth his child, only to find out he was not the father. DHS requested a paternity test after he was given custody of the child due to the mother being arrested for an unknown charge.

Graham and Hall became acquainted when Hall picked the child up from Graham’s home. The meeting turned tense after Graham threatened Hall because law enforcement was involved in the pick up.

Hall also testified that at one point Graham came to his home, shot out the glass to his front door before shooting his vehicle.

Hall and the woman would later reestablish a sexual relationship, which led to the incident in November of 2011. During the night in question, Hall awoke in the woman’s bed to find an unidentified person standing over him asking what he was doing there.

A fight ensued, Hall testified, where the man attacked him while he was still in bed.

Hall testified that he grabbed his gun, which he carried on a regular basis, and shot Graham twice before ultimately leaving the scene.

Hall testified that he turned himself in to the Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department the same night.

After the prosecution and defense rested, the jury convened just after 5 p.m. to deliberate on a verdict of self-defense, murder or manslaughter, 15th District Attorney Hal Kittrell said. It was not until after 11 p.m. that the jury concluded they could not come to a unanimous decision on the case, leading to a hung jury. Kittrell said his office will ask for the case to be reset for the next term during a court meeting this week. The re-trial may not occur until January, or later.