The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

May 2011 Joplin tornado

October 10, 2012

Longtime state trooper facing felony charge

NEOSHO, Mo. — A retired Missouri State Highway Patrol trooper turned himself in Wednesday at the Newton County Sheriff’s Department on charges that he sexually molested an underage girl and assaulted another.

James D. Hall, 70, was charged Tuesday in Newton County Circuit Court with a felony count of first-degree child molestation and a misdemeanor count of third-degree assault.

The Missouri attorney general’s office filed the charges and is prosecuting the case because of Hall’s previous relationship with the local prosecutor’s office as a longtime officer in Southwest Missouri. Hall served with the state patrol from June 1, 1964, through June 30, 1997.

Newton County Sheriff Ken Copeland said an investigation into the allegations Hall is facing began earlier this year when a parent of one of the girls contacted the sheriff’s office.

A probable-cause affidavit written by an investigator with the attorney general’s office refers to interviews of an 11-year-old girl and her parents with respect to the felony count of child molestation.

The affidavit states that the girl told investigators that Hall for several years had repeatedly touched her clothing in the area of her genitals and her “bottom.” The most recent occasion was in February of this year, the affidavit alleges.

The document states that Detective Mike Barnett of the sheriff’s office contacted Hall about the matter on Feb. 17, and Hall denied having touched the girl inappropriately. Further interviews of the girl and her parents were conducted in June by the investigator with the attorney general’s office.

On Aug. 10, the investigator in another interview was told that the girl had told another person in February that Hall kissed her in an inappropriate manner and tried to put his hands down her pants, but that she was able to prevent him from succeeding.

The affidavit further alleges that Hall rubbed the thigh of another 11-year-old girl on more than one occasion.

The girl told investigators that this made her feel “awkward, weird and funny,” and that she would try to cross her legs or scoot away from him, but he would move close to her again and resume touching her.

The second girl is the alleged victim cited in the misdemeanor assault charge.

Free on bond

JAMES “J.D.” HALL, a former Missouri State Highway Patrol officer who lives in Neosho, surrendered himself on child molestation and assault charges Wednesday morning, posted a $5,000 bond, and was released.

1
Text Only
May 2011 Joplin tornado
  • Local new-home construction catches up to previous pace

    After a slow start early in this fiscal year for Joplin, the construction of new houses has resumed at the pace that existed in fiscal year 2013, when permits for new houses averaged more than 16 per month. Since November, the beginning of Joplin’s fiscal year, permits for 118 houses have been issued for a total cost of $12.8 million. The average value has been about $108,000.

    June 11, 2014

  • 052212 unity walk1_72.jpg SLIDESHOW: One year later, One day of unity, updated Photos from a day of events commemorating the May 22, 2011 tornado anniversary

    May 22, 2012 1 Photo

  • 060314 Farmers rebuild 1_72.jpg Farmers Insurance writes manual based on experience from Joplin disaster recovery

    Joplin’s housing recovery from the 2011 tornado is one for the books. Jeff Dailey, CEO of Farmers Insurance, announced Tuesday that not only will Farmers Insurance stick with Rebuild Joplin to repair and replace the homes left on the local group’s waiting list, but the company also will kick off a similar recovery effort today for the city of Sea Bright, New Jersey, based on a book it has written to expedite disaster recovery that is based on its experience in Joplin.

    June 3, 2014 2 Photos

  • r052214butterflygarden.jpg New park feature opens on tornado anniversary to encourage healing

    Cunningham Park has become an emotional place for Pamela Praytor. The name of her son, Christopher Lucas, is engraved on a monument that stands in the park in memory of the 161 people who were killed in the May 2011 tornado. “Even though I cry when I come, it’s OK,” she said. “It’s part of the healing.”

    May 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • r051214greenbldgs3.jpg Home, business cited as examples of energy efficiency, strength

    Ramona and Charles “Hugh’’ Shields were not the least bit reluctant on Monday to open their new house in the tornado zone to a bunch of strangers who had a lot of questions. “I used to live in a house where I had to wear two pairs of socks in the winter to keep my feet warm — not anymore,’’ said Ramona Shields. “This house is nice and warm in the winter, and nice and cool in the summer.’’

    May 12, 2014 2 Photos

  • Mercy Health System to receive $23 million FEMA grant

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency will provide Mercy Health System of Joplin with $23 million in public assistance funding by the end of the year. The disaster relief was announced Friday by U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill.

    April 25, 2014

  • Respond With Love flower.jpg Joplin pays it forward with flowers; residents asked to return bulbs ‘fostered’ for other towns

    Suzan Morang’s front yard bloomed brightly last year from a colorful array of bulbs that she will happily pass on to someone else this year. Morang, 1207 Xenia Court, is a participant in America Responds With Love, a national nonprofit organization that distributes bulbs to disaster-stricken cities.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Creator of Joplin-based ‘Dear World’ exhibit features Boston bombing victims in new work

    The messages written on the skin of some Boston Marathon victims may be different, but Joplin residents will recognize the handwriting. Robert X. Fogarty, the creator of the “Dear World: From Joplin with Love” exhibit, took his signature style of photography and inspiration to Boston. Fogarty traveled to Joplin in 2011 and took pictures of community members with inspirational messages written on their bodies in black ink.

    April 21, 2014

  • r041414wildwood.jpg Opening of nursing home another recovery milestone

    Gladys Dutton has done a lot of things in her life, but Monday’s dedication of the Communities at Wildwood Ranch nursing home marked a first. “I’ve never cut a ribbon before,” she said. “I hope I do a good job.” Dutton was one of four residents to participate in the opening of the $8.5 million nursing center that eventually will be home to 120 people.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Joplin Redevelopment Corp. preparing for first property sale

    The first sale of property from the Joplin Redevelopment Corp. to Wallace Bajjali Development Partners is scheduled for May 16. The city staff will be working to prepare for that sale, it was discussed on Tuesday at a meeting of the JRC.

    April 9, 2014

Purchase Globe Photos


Featured Ads
Facebook
Tornado: Multimedia coverage
Tornado: Obituaries
Tornado: Columns
Tornado: Mike Pound
Tornado: Lists of missing, fatalities & relief
Tornado: Donate & volunteer
Tornado: Resources & relief