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In brief: Arrest returns Hall to jail after escape

Hall (The Spokesman-Review)
Hall (The Spokesman-Review)

One of Spokane’s most notorious criminals is back in jail.

Detectives arrested Eddie Ray Hall about 6 p.m. Tuesday at a convenience store near U.S. Highway 195 and Cheney-Spokane Road, according to the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office. Investigators with the Sheriff’s Office and the Eastern Washington Fugitive Task Force had been looking for Hall since he escaped from a Yakima County correction facility Wednesday, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Hall’s criminal history spans nearly three decades and includes at least 20 convictions, mostly for drug and property crimes, according to court records. In the late 1990s, authorities estimated he’d cost the local justice system more than $1 million.

Along with felony charges from an October arrest, Hall, 44, faces charges of escape, possession of methamphetamine and possession of methamphetamine with intent to deliver.

“If convicted on all his potential new charges, Hall faces what could amount to a life sentence in prison,” said sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. Dave Reagan.


Duncan says he planned surrender

Condemned killer Joseph Duncan filed an eight-page affidavit in federal court Tuesday insisting that he intended to surrender to police and spare his surviving victim, then-8-year-old Shasta Groene, when he was arrested with the child in 2005.

In the document, posted at, Duncan cites a religious awakening that he says led him to end his murderous rampage, which left four members of the girl’s family dead. He also rails against “the system” and claims that his execution, which he says he’ll do nothing to prevent, also will be a crime.

Duncan was sentenced to death three times for the kidnapping, sexual exploitation and murder of Shasta’s 9-year-old brother, Dylan. He also received nine life sentences for his 2005 crime spree.

Riverside County, Calif., is seeking an additional death sentence against Duncan for a 1997 child abduction and murder.


Two judges delay killer’s execution

Federal and state judges have indefinitely delayed the scheduled Dec. 3 execution of Darold Stenson for the 1993 shooting deaths of his wife and a business partner in Clallam County.

The separate stays were issued Tuesday by judges in federal court in Yakima and in Clallam County Superior Court.

U.S. District Judge Lonny Suko issued his order in a conference call with lawyers. State Attorney General Rob McKenna said his office was asking an appeals court to vacate Suko’s order, based on claims that lethal injection procedures were improperly revised, and allow the execution to proceed as scheduled.

The other stay was issued by Judge Kenneth Williams in Clallam County Superior Court, according to Assistant Attorney General John Samson, one of the attorneys handling the case. Samson said the judge reversed an earlier decision he made regarding DNA testing in the case.

McKenna argued that Stenson is “using every means at his disposal to avoid execution.”

“Every other avenue of appeal has been exhausted and even though the U.S. Supreme Court has already ruled on the question of lethal injection’s constitutionality, he’s making this argument anyway in a last-ditch effort to avoid execution,” McKenna said.

Meghann M. Cuniff Betsy Z. Russell Associated Press

Top stories in Spokane

Freeman students march in unity to honor memory of slain classmate Sam Strahan

UPDATED: 9:38 p.m.

Drenched in sunshine and a sharp spring wind, more than 70 students marched Friday out of Freeman High School behind a “Freeman Strong” banner to the same football field where they sheltered in fear last September following the shooting that killed 15-year-old Sam Strahan and injured three girls.