John Wesley Hall

Former inmate charged with homicide

An Arkansas man who spent 32 years in prison for a murder he committed when he was 22 years of age has been charged in connection with a shooting death in Crawford County. The 59-year-old Mulberry resident was taken into custody on Nov. 8 when deputies from the Crawford County Sheriff's Office who were conducting a missing person investigation received a tip. The tip led deputies to the gun the man allegedly used to commit the murder. He is being held at the Crawford County Jail and his bond has been set at $2.1 million.

The man was originally charged with making terroristic threats according to court papers. A first-degree murder charge was added on Nov. 22 after deputies learned that human remains discovered on Hollis Lake Road had been identified by a crime laboratory as those of the missing person. The man is said to given investigators details of the crime and the location of the victim's body. The man has also been charged with possessing a firearm while a convicted felon and possessing drug paraphernalia.

A background check reveals that the man moved to Arkansas after being released from prison in California. He spent three decades behind bars for killing a Concord man in 1984. While incarcerated, the man broke out of Placer County Jail with three other inmates. He was quickly recaptured according to media reports.

Individuals facing decades of incarceration for committing violent crimes may believe that their interests are best served by cooperating fully with law enforcement, and homicide detectives could encourage them to feel this way. Experienced criminal defense attorneys may point out that only prosecutors can reduce charges or penalties, and they could encourage suspects to remain silent and allow their lawyers to negotiate on their behalf. This is because confessing without a solid offer on the table may make obtaining a favorable plea agreement far more challenging.

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