A London man charged with committing a murder in the Big Hill area of Richmond in 2006 will undergo a state mental evaluation before his trial proceeds.

Douglas Wayne Hall II, 29, of London, is charged with complicity to commit murder, criminal attempt to commit murder and first-degree robbery in the death of Margaret Faye Jackson, 56, of Big Hill, and attempted murder of Mitchell Turner, 37.

On Thursday, Senior Judge Gary Payne approved a motion by Fayette Commonwealth’s Attorney Ray Larson, who is serving as special prosecutor on the case, to order Hall to submit to a state mental health evaluation before the final stage of the legal process can begin.

Several motions in the case have precluded the beginning of a trial for Hall, who originally was charged with an alleged accomplice, Tony Hodge.

Hodge, 27, pleaded guilty in September 2007 to shooting and stabbing Jackson and Turner multiple times at Jackson’s home in late January 2006. Turner, who was left for dead, survived his injuries.

At the time of the incident, Kentucky State Police Trooper Chris Lanham said Hodge and Hall kicked in the front door of Jackson’s trailer and looted the home after killing Jackson and injuring Turner. An undetermined amount of cash allegedly was stolen, along with a rifle.

In October, Hodge accepted a life sentence for Jackson’s murder and 20-year sentences for Mitchell’s attempted murder, first-degree robbery and first-degree burglary.

Hodge also received an additional 40-year prison sentence earlier this year in Laurel County for the murder of Matthew R. Smith. By Kentucky law, the two murder sentences are running concurrently.

Hall’s case has been moving slowly through court since the pair were arrested in May 2006. Hall’s attorney, Tucker Richardson said earlier this year that the reason for that has been because of recusals and decisions about Hodge’s case.

“They couldn’t try them together and they elected to try Hodge first,” Richardson said. “And lo and behold, they (prosecutors) turned around and gave him a deal. Hall had a trial date and we were waiting for them to get done with (Hodge’s) trial and they ended up doing that. We were waiting to put it on for a status hearing and the prosecutor (Madison Commonwealth’s Attorney David Smith) recused.”

Hall’s first attorney, Earl Ray Neal, also had to recuse himself from the case after being elected district judge.

Richardson made a motion Thursday on Hall’s behalf that the trial, which is now slated for Feb. 23, 2009, be moved to Fayette County due to “pre-trial publicity” in Madison County.

Judge Payne ruled that a decision concerning the move of venue motion should be left to Judge Jean Chenault Logue, who will take office as the new second district Madison County Circuit judge in January, although Payne did add that he “disagreed personally” about the necessity of moving the trial out of county.

Payne also sustained a motion made by Larson to allow prosecutors access to interviews and notes made by a mental health professional who was retained by Hall’s defense since his arrest.

A status hearing for Hall was set for Jan. 8. 2008.

Hall remains lodged in the Madison County Detention Center in lieu of $250,000 bond.





Heather Harris can be reached at hharris@richmondregister.com or by phone at 624-6694 or 893-2341.

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