After nearly three years of waiting for answers, Pearl Rose hopes the trial of her first cousin’s accused killer provides insight into the final hours of Norman Hall’s life.
Hall, 71, was found beaten to death Sept. 9, 2016, inside a first-floor apartment on Pin Oak Court in Radcliff. It is believed he had been dead two days before Radcliff police discovered his body. Police were performing a welfare check after neighbors said Hall hadn’t been seen for a few days.
Hall, who was on oxygen, died from multiple blows to his head and face and from being stabbed once in the neck, officials said.
“I’d love to know why this happened,” said Rose, 72. “Not sure why they did it, and you want to see justice.”
The trial of one of two people charged in Hall’s death — Aaron Pearson, 26, of Radcliff — is expected to begin Wednesday with jury selection.
Pearson is charged with complicity to commit murder, complicity to first-degree robbery and complicity to tampering with physical evidence. In March 2017, the Hardin County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office filed aggravators in the case and will seek the death penalty against Pearson, if he is convicted.
Eloysia James-Venerable, 19, of Radcliff, who was 16 when Hall was killed, accepted a plea deal in February 2018 that recommends she serve 20 to 50 years or life in prison, with parole eligibility after 20 years, in exchange for truthful testimony at trial. Should she not provide honest testimony, the Commonwealth will remove the offer and James-Venerable will be sentenced to life without parole, according to the plea agreement.
Police said the pair broke into Hall’s residence to rob him and Pearson ended up killing Hall.
A 22-year U.S. Army veteran, Hall retired from military service at Fort Knox and remained in the area. Hall’s wife, Un Chu, died in 1988 and is buried in Hardin County.
Pearl, a resident of Somerset, said Hall had multiple tours of duty during the Vietnam war.
“It’s been kind of rough on a lot of us since it happened,” Pearl said. She said Hall’s parents and two brothers are deceased.
Pearl said she occasionally remained in contact with Hall by phone. She said he liked Radcliff and said he was a “loner.”
“He didn’t come home very often,” she said. “...we’re hoping to get some closure.”
She said the way her cousin died has been troubling since they learned of his death after a story appeared in the Somerset newspaper seeking next-of-kin to Hall.
She said he doesn’t have many family members remaining. Rose said she would like to attend some of the trial with her daughter, Donna, and possibly her sister, if her health permits.
Hall was a decorated Army veteran with military service awards and decorations including the Meritorious Service Medal; National Defense Service Medal; Overseas Service Ribbon 1; NCO Professional Development Ribbon 1; Drill Sergeant; Vietnam Service Medal 10 campaign stars; Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal; Republic of Vietnam Civil Actions honor Medal 1st class; Overseas Service Bars 7 and Republic of Vietnam Tech Service Medal.
Hall was buried Oct. 12, 2016 at Veterans Cemetery-Central in Radcliff. Nearly 100 veterans, active military personnel, health care workers and community members turned out to pay their respects to Hall, most of them didn’t know him.
According to an arrest citation, Pearson “freely admitted in participating in the removal/disposal of physical evidence that was pertinent to the successful resolution to Mr. Hall’s murder.” Pearson also disclosed facts during an interview with police about the investigation that had not been released to media at that point.
Radcliff Police Department investigators executed a search warrant Sept. 13 and Sept. 14 at a residence Pearson lived in with two juveniles. Police reportedly found two firearms in the home, including one that belonged to Hall, according to the report, as well as other items said to have been stolen from Hall’s apartment.
The trial has been delayed multiple times awaiting DNA test results.
Pearson was arrested Sept. 13, 2016, in Radcliff and James-Venerable the next day in Louisville.