Brothers Provide Lurid Crime Details

Steve Fry, Capital-Journal (Topeka), August 20, 2008

The last moments of a 15-year-old Topeka girl were described in gruesome detail during a court hearing Tuesday in which a witness said another young woman who unexpectedly showed up at the homicide scene could have suffered the same fate if she had discovered the body.

Nacole Winter, a student at Hope Street Academy, was stomped to death, a coroner testified during the preliminary hearing of Christopher Dwayne Hall, 25.

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At the conclusion of the hearing, Hall was bound over for trial on felony charges of first-degree murder and aggravated indecent liberties with a child 14 to 16 years old and certified for trial on a misdemeanor count of desecration of a corpse.

County coroner Erik Mitchell said Winter died of blunt force injuries. An autopsy showed she suffered a hairline skull fracture, a fractured neck, bruises on the scalp and bruises on the chest.

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A fractured vertebra above the base of the neck was caused by a “very hard blow,” most likely by a kick or a stomp, Mitchell said.

Bruising about 3 or 4 inches wide on the teenager’s chest wall likely was caused by a stomp, the coroner said.

Winter was dead when her body was burned, Mitchell said. She didn’t have any drugs or alcohol in her system.

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Michael Hall, 27, and Anthony Hall, 28, who are brothers of the defendant, said Christopher Hall recruited them several days before Dec. 14 to help dispose of the body.

Testing of material recovered on vaginal swabs showed Michael Hall had sex with Winter at some point before she was slain, a written stipulation signed by prosecution and defense attorneys said.

Michael Hall said his brother showed him Winter’s body when it was wrapped in a tarp and lying in a trash can in a basement storage and laundry area at Fairlawn Greens Apartments, 5237 S.W. 20th Terrace, where the three men lived.

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Christopher Hall said he killed her after he and Winter were smoking in his apartment, there was an altercation, and she tried to leave, Michael Hall testified.

Michael Hall said his brother told him he first used his hands to strangle Winter.

But “he noticed she wasn’t dead, and he put a cord around neck and strangled her,” Michael Hall said.

Anthony Hall testified Christopher Hall told him he strangled Winter when she tried to scream.

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Christopher Hall first considered disposing of Winter’s body in a trash can at the apartment complex, but decided against that.

Michael Hall said the three brothers put her body in the trunk of Vines’ car [Sonya Vines, Christopher Hall’s girlfriend], stopped at a convenience store to buy gasoline and a gas container, and drove to an open field in the 4100 block of S.E. East Edge Road in the Lake Shawnee area about 9 or 10 p.m. at night.

Once there, Christopher and Anthony Hall unloaded the body, gasoline was poured on the corpse, and Christopher Hall lit the fire, Michael Hall and Anthony Hall testified. {snip}

{snip}


Winter

Nacole Winter.
Hall

Christopher Hall.

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