HAMILTON – A Corvallis man was told Wednesday that he could face the death penalty for his alleged kidnapping last month of a 17-year-old mother, forcibly injecting her with methamphetamine and raping her numerous times.
Byron Craig Hall Jr., 32, made his initial appearance in Ravalli County District Court on nine felony counts that include aggravated kidnapping, sexual intercourse without consent, aggravated assault, child criminal endangerment and numerous drug charges.
While Hall grimaced when District Judge Jeffrey Langton said he could face the death penalty or imprisonment for 555 years and a fine of $450,000, he was smiling before the short hearing ended.
Hall was arrested Feb. 12 after a 17-year-old mother of an 8-month-old boy confided in her child’s baby sitter that she had been forcibly injected with methamphetamine and repeatedly raped over the course of several days while being held prisoner in her own home.
In a forensic interview completed at Hamilton’s Emma’s House Child Advocacy Center, the teenager said she met Hall during an orientation at the Bitterroot College in January, according to an affidavit filed in the case.
The woman said she didn’t know Hall was 32 years old and thought him to be much younger. Hall traveled to the teenager’s home to work on homework with her, but she told investigators there was no intimacy or dating activity that took place between the two.
On Feb. 6, the woman said Hall “just snapped” after she “jokingly” responded to a comment he made about an ex-girlfriend, the affidavit said. Hall allegedly pushed her down on her bed and began choking her with his hands around her throat.
The woman said when she attempted to push him away, he just smiled at her and continued to choke her until she lost consciousness.
The affidavit said when she regained consciousness, Hall asked her if “she liked that” and smiled as he choked her again until she lost consciousness.
When she awoke, Hall allegedly told her he had injected her with crystal methamphetamine. She became confused and disorientated before Hall allegedly raped her.
Hall allegedly kept the woman and her son prisoner in her home between Friday, Feb. 6, and Tuesday, Feb. 10, through force and continued injections of methamphetamine.
During the ordeal, the woman said Hall repeatedly threatened that if she told anyone, she would lose her child or he would kill her.
The woman said she didn’t know how many times she was raped or injected with drugs, but it was “a lot,” the affidavit said.
Hall allegedly told the woman he had hepatitis C and now she was “dirty like him.”
Investigators found three used syringes in the teenager’s home and a small baggie with white residue. The residue tested positive for methamphetamine.
A medical examination documented bruising on the woman’s throat, her arms and the tops of both thighs. She also had recent puncture wounds to her arms consistent with needle marks, also known as “track marks.”
Hall’s blood has since tested positive for “hepatitis C, a highly contagious (by sexual transmission) disease without a known cure,” the affidavit said. The woman is now under the care of an infectious disease physician in Missoula.
Hall has a long criminal history.
He ended up in Ravalli County following probation on a 2002 felony conviction of operating an unlawful clandestine drug laboratory in Flathead County.
That conviction carried a 15-year commitment to the Montana Department of Corrections with 12 years suspended.
Between 2002 and 2015, Hall was placed in 12 different treatment or prerelease programs in Montana, according to information provided by the Montana State Prison.
In each case, Hall committed some infraction that landed him either back in jail or prison.
He first arrived in Hamilton in 2005 under the supervision of a probation officer following a one-year stint in the Montana State Prison. In February 2007, he was back in jail in Flathead County on charges of again operating a clandestine laboratory.
Between 2007 and 2014, Hall served time in the state’s prison system in Deer Lodge, Glendive and Great Falls after failing to complete several treatment programs.
On October 2, 2014, he was granted a furlough to Hamilton, a program that would have given him 10 days to find a place to live and find a job, said prison public information officer Linda Moodry. His probation supervision was approved five days later.
On Jan. 27, 2015, he was picked up on a probation violation. Hall was released two days later.
Hall was arrested on the current charges on Feb. 12. He is currently being held on $750,000 bail.