April 19, 2024

Hall Trial Begins in Meigs County Court of Common Pleas

Editor’s Note: All suspects are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. Some of the information in this story may be disturbing to some readers.

POMEROY, Ohio – The trial of one of three men charged in connection with the death of Kane Roush has begun.

Jaquan Hall is one of three men allegedly involved in a plot to kill Roush. Hall was indicted by the Meigs County Grand Jury on one count each of Aggravated Murder, Murder, Complicity to Commit Murder, and Conspiract to Commit Aggravated Murder. All are felony charges. Roush died on April 4, 2021 due to multiple gun shot wounds received at his Pomeroy residence. In addition to Hall, Keonte Nelson and Richard Walker have been indicted for their alleged involvement in the death of Roush. Hall’s case is the first to come to trial. The trial is being held in the Meigs County Court of Common Pleas before Judge Linda Warner.

Following a lengthy jury selection process, the jury received initial instruction and admonition by Judge Warner. Opening statement from the state was conducted by Meigs County Prosecuting James K. Stanley. Prosecutor Stanley outlined the state’s case it would be presenting to the jury. The opening statement is meant to frame the case, but not fact in and of itself.

During the opening statement from Stanley, it was revealed that Roush’s wounds were to his back side, as Roush was attempting to flee for his life from what the state believes were two different shooters. According to the case outlined by Stanley, Hall had planned for at least a week along with Nelson and Walker to rob and kill Roush. The trio was looking for marijuana they believed Roush had.

Stanley went into detail of how Roush was shot at least three times as he was attempting to flee his home with a .45 caliber hand gun. The wounds were to Roush’s lower back, buttocks and legs. Roush managed to exit his home, but only to outside the garage before he had to begin crawling away. The second shooter used a shotgun with bird shot at point blank range, shooting Roush at least twice more. The proximity of the shotgun to Roush “tore an enormous hole in his back,” according to Stanley. According to Stanley, the state intends to prove that Hall was the shooter with the shotgun and Walker was shooting with the .45.

“The killers couldn’t even face him when they stole his life away,” Stanley told the jury.

Stanley went through outlining the state’s case including that during the initial fray of Walker shooting Roush, Hall was also hit. Hall was treated at the Charleston Area Medical Center (CAMC) later that morning. He was questioned by Charleston Police officers but at that time, Hall was not a suspect. The case was unfolding in Pomeroy, unknown to Charleston law enforcement. When the officers questioned Hall, he initially gave a false name and they believed he was a victim due to the gun shot wound he was being treated for in the Emergency Department. Hall eventually gave officers his real name. Stanley was outlining all of this and talked about how Hall was not being cooperative with police at that point. Hall was not a suspect in a homicide at that point. Officers did ask if Hall had been shot while trying to shoot someone else. It was at that point, Hall quit answering questions and cooperating with law enforcement according to information the state plans to introduce as evidence in the trial. Stanley went on describing the facts the state would bring and law enforcement agencies involved in the investigation. At the conclusion of Stanley’s opening statement, the attorney for Hall, George Cosenza, asked to approach the bench. The jury was excused for a break.

Cosenza made a motion for the judge to declare a mistrial based on a statement Stanley made during the opening argument. Cosenza took issue with the statement about Hall not being cooperative with law enforcement and exercising his right to not speak with law enforcement. Stanley argued that was not the context, that at that point Charleston officers were asking about Hall as a potential victim and had no knowledge of the case happening in Pomeroy on April 4, 2021. Judge Warner said she would listen to the audio recording of the opening statement and research it. She did not give a ruling at that time.

Judge Warner brought the jury back in, reminded them of the admonition and sent them home for the day to return the next morning. The trial was then recessed.

Throughout the process of representing Hall, Cosenza has filed repeated motions for various reasons to have the case dismissed including another last week during jury selection, but they have all been denied so far. The trial was set to begin on September 19, but jury selection has been going on until this morning when the jury was finally seated.

The trial is set to resume at 9 a.m. in the Court of Common Pleas.