Both the defense and the state were present for the arraignment process. Also in attendance was the Kentucky Audit Branch for the state.
Juanita Hall signed a waiver of dual or multiple representation for the upcoming trial. This means that she is aware that Attorney Michael Taylor will be representing both herself and Jesse Hall.
Taylor also filed a motion for a leave to file a bill of particulars for both of the Halls. This was filed due to the complexity and scope of the indictments. The document states that more time is necessary to ascertain, after reviewing discovery, as to what requests may be necessary and to be economical with the court’s time.
“These folks have been very publicly prosecuted in this case. One thing that the indictments don’t show is the huge number of cases that were presented to the Grand Jury and the Grand Jury issued what is called a no true bill,” said Defense Attorney Michael Taylor.
He explained that a no true bill means that there were no findings that any crimes had been committed. He also stated that there were twice as many cases against the Halls that were dismissed by the Grand Jury than were indicted.
“There are several instances in the indictment where there are claims that money was taken, usually in the amount of $3,000, was taken out of the charitable gaming account and supposedly deposited back into a personal account of Jesse and Juanita Hall. In fact, what we have in our paper... is that $3,000 was taken out for cash payouts on the evenings of charitable gaming. Every single time that money was deposited back along with the proceeds of the evening,” said Taylor.
Taylor stated that in some cases, the Halls were just a victim of circumstance because they were board members at the time the money was stolen.
The Halls were indicted on for various degrees of theft. Jesse Hall was indicted on six counts of diversion of charitable gaming funds for financial benefit (over $300) and four counts of theft by failure to make required disposition of property (over $500) by collecting payments for non-sufficient fund checks.
Juanita Hall was indicted on five counts of theft of labor already rendered (over $500) by being the secretary/treasurer of the Bell County Fair and Exhibition Board, six counts of diversion of charitable gaming funds for financial benefit (over $300), two counts of theft by failure to make required disposition of property valued at more than $500, and theft by deception (over $10,000).
An indictment is an accusation only. All individuals are presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.
Anthony Cloud is a staff writer at the Middlesboro Daily News. He can be reached at email@example.com.