Photo | MCSO
Timothy Hall Jr., 28, was arrested last week for the 2017 beating death of 70-year-old Larry Willingham.
The son of a Mobile Municipal Court judge is being charged with two counts of capital murder in connection to the beating death of a 70-year-old man during a 2017 home invasion.
According to the Mobile Police Department, Timothy Hall Jr., 28, entered a home off Pleasant Valley Road in Mobile in early August 2017 with the intention to commit robbery. Once inside, police say, Hall beat 70-year-old Larry Willingham to death in his own home.
Willingham was found deceased inside his residence later that day, and his death remained one of Mobile’s unsolved murders for more than a year. However, after the evidence was presented to a Mobile County grand jury, Hall was indicted and then arrested on Aug. 27.
Hall is the son of Shelbonnie Coleman-Hall, who’s served as an associate judge on Mobile’s Municipal Court since 2006. Hall has to date made no public comments about her son’s arrest.
The capital murder charge isn’t Hall’s first run-in with local law enforcement. According to records kept by the Mobile County Metro Jail, Hall was charged with various offenses between 2012 and 2013, including drug possession, disorderly conduct, robbery and burglary.
He was convicted in 2014 on one charge of first-degree robbery. Court records show Hall was ordered to serve three years of a 20-year sentence, along with four years on probation.
Last year, while on probation, Hall was arrested for a different crime not long after he allegedly beat Willingham to death inside his home. On Sept. 12, 2017, Hall was charged with trespassing at the city of Mobile’s Adult Center on Azalea Road and resisting arrest.
According to records released by the city of Mobile, that case was handled in Mobile’s Municipal Court but Judge Carvine Adams recused herself from presiding over the case. Court records indicate both charges were dismissed by Presiding Judge Holmes Whiddon after prosecutors and Hall’s attorneys reached an agreement requiring him to enter inpatient drug treatment.
While the state prosecutors in Mobile County District Attorney Ashley Rich’s office wouldn’t normally argue cases in Judge Hall’s municipal courtroom, Rich’s office made the decision to recuse itself from the case to avoid any appearance of a conflict of interest given her position.
Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall then appointed District Attorney Spencer Walker to prosecute the case. As the district attorney for Alabama’s 1st Judicial Circuit, Walker represents Clarke, Washington and Choctaw counties.
Alabama Chief Justice Lynn Stewart also appointed local attorney Braxton Kittrell Jr. as a special judge to hear the case. Kittrell, who served as Mobile County Circuit Court judge from 1977 to 1994, ordered Hall be held without bond on Thursday, Aug. 30.
Hall pleaded not guilty to both counts of capital murder, which in Alabama is a charge usually brought against defendants accused of causing the death of another person while committing another crime. In Hall’s case, that alleged crime is the robbery of Willingham’s house.
Little information has been made available in Hall’s Aug. 24 grand jury indictment, but Walker and his team of prosecutors have indicated they plan to seek the death penalty in his case. Hall’s next scheduled court appearance is scheduled to be Sept. 6 at 10:30 a.m. in Mobile.